AEON Mall impact on neighbors surveyed
The Okinawa Prefecture Small and Medium Enterprise Support Division has announced the results of a study on economic effects of the mega shopping mall AEON Mall Rycom that opened a year ago.
The survey was conducted in Rycom’s neighboring municipalities of Okinawa City, Ginowan City, Chatan Town and Kitanakagusuku Village. According to the results, in Okinawa City, about 30% of retailers in the city claim that sales and the number of customers have decreased after the opening of Rycom, but only 14 to 18 percent of merchants in the other areas estimated that the impact has been negative, considerably less than in Okinawa City.
Compared to results of a survey of same areas three months after Rycom’s opening, the rate of negative answers seems to decrease. An official at the division says that most of the neighboring retailers were worried about the impact just after Rycom opened, however the feelings have calmed down one year after its opening. “It’s true that there have been some influence from Rycom as it’s such a huge commercial center, however, now most merchants in the neighboring communities think it’s manageable,” the officials said.
According to the survey results, 64.3% of dealers think that the number of customers is “the same”, 14.8% think positively “increased,” meaning they admit a ripple effect from Rycom, and 20.9% of them say “decreased”.
The rate of positive answers increased by 7.4 points from the results of the survey taken after three months, however, the positive answers decreased by 3.7 points from the results of the survey after 6 months.
Regarding the labor cost, 21.2% think that the labor cost has increased after Rycom opened. Compared with the survey results after 3 months (12.3%) and after 6 months (15.4%), the rate has been increasing.