So what protection should be in place for a small retailer on a big shopping mall premises? It seems that landlords are bleeding the smaller guys dry while doing back–flips for large retailers

“In a big city you’ve got 50 000 landlords to choose from; even in a small town you’ve got 200 to choose from. That’s a free market operation. You’ve got freedom of association, freedom of choice. But now let’s say you’re a small black trader and you want to get into Tyger Valley [Shopping Centre in Cape Town], you’ve got one landlord, they’ve got absolute power. You’ve got a privatised city.”


So eager are shopping mall developers to sign up anchor tenants -- the large national chain stores that pull shoppers to the centre -- that they are given 20-year to 30-year leases, often with minimum escalation of rent and as little as 1% or 2% turnover rental. The mall owner then tries to extract as much rent as possible from the small tenants in order to fulfil his return on investment. Small tenants, especially the flourishing ones, are sometimes charged as much as 15% turnover rental and are given leases as short as three years.

Full story on M&G
Read the full article, there is lots of info crammed into it, and it covers most of the angles.

So is this a competition commission issue, or should there be some sort of regulation in place? Or maybe the big question is, what sort of leverage can a little guy use in this set up?