According to data from the Monthly Economic Survey (EME) regularly conducted by the NGO ‘Defendamos Buenos Aires’ (‘We Defend Buenos Aires’), almost 7,000 businesses have had to shut up shop permanently since November of last year .
A “business” in this case being defined as having at least four workers (one boss and three employees), this mass closure has seen a loss of around 28,000 jobs; on track to becoming a record high since the crisis of 2001.
“With 6,900 fewer stores in business, the 1% mark has already been surpassed, and we are heading toward a total closure of 2% of the 40,000 businesses that exist in the Province and City of Buenos Aires.” stated specialist lawyer Javier Miglino, head of the NGO.
This significant blow to commercial Buenos Aires comes as a result of a range of factors: a drop in consumption, inflation, increase in prices, insecurity and also due to the “expiration” of contracts, which happens most frequently toward the end of the year.
Among the businesses the most affected were clothing and women’s footwear, followed by gastronomic shops, clothing and men’s footwear, make-up stores, dry cleaners, car washes, automotive spare parts and electrical appliances sales.
Within Buenos Aires, the areas most affected included Quilmes, Lomas de Zamora and Ramos Mejía, with Belgrano experiencing the most severe hits. However, overall, Mar Del Plata topped as the worst off — with 276 stores closing down.
Unfortunately, things aren’t looking up for the near future: “It is possible that closures will increase in the face of the typically complicated December (with at least four holidays), in January and February 2017, according to many traders.” concluded Miglino.