Mingalar Market shops shutter as rents increase
SHOP owners relocated following the fire at Yangon’s Mingalar Market continue to face rent hikes in their temporary market space, while some business have been forced to close due to the higher costs, shopkeepers said yesterday.
A blaze ripped through the market’s third, fourth, fifth and sixth floors on January 9 destroying more than 1630 shops selling mostly pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, electronics and food.
The government then moved shop owners at the market to temporary stalls at the market’s car park and surrounding compound. At the time of the relocation, shopkeepers drew straws to determine where they would be located, with many originally located on the more expensive ground floor, where foot traffic is more common, relocated higher up in the car park where few shoppers venture.
But rental hikes for those that did retain a prime location have also been cause for concern.
Daw Htwe Htwe Khaing. owner of a bag shop, said she originally paid 1 lakh prior to the fire, but now rent in the new spot had crept up to 10 lakhs.
“I would like the government to please intervene and ask for a more stable rental price,” she said. “The stall owners have upped the rent more and more, and if the new building takes two years to build the price will continue to go up even more than now.”
Daw Khin Than Htay, the owner of Nan Htike textile shop, said shops had been closing due to the rental increase.
“At some of the shops on the ground floor and in front of the market the rent has gone up to around 40 lakhs per month,” she said.
For Daw Thidar, who used to make and sell clothes at the market, the rent became too much.
“Now I make clothes in my small factory and sell to the customers I contact over the phone,” she said. “I will open up again when the new building is finished,” she said.
Yangon City Development Committee declined to comment.