Mexican Department Stores Approve Deferment of PaymentsBy Daniel González | Tue, 04/07/2020 - 14:39
Leading Mexican department stores have decided to take a step forward in protecting the loyalty of their customers by deferring credit card payments. The measure has already been adopted by El Palacio de Hierro, Liverpool and Suburbia. The three retail departments have decided to approve different measures to help customers who need a moratorium on their payments as a result of the expansion of COVID-19 in Mexico and the current economic crisis. The measure allows customers with accounts in good standing to defer payments for up to four months.
El Palacio de Hierro´s customers will receive an SMS on their mobile phones with the application form for the program. Once this procedure has been completed, the client must wait for the company to accept their petition. For Suburbia and Liverpool, if the client is unable to make the minimum payment for April, the account will be kept at its current status. However, the interest will be reflected in the next pay period. Department stores such as Sanborns, Coppel and Sears have not yet announced such measures in relation to their credit card policy.
The measure comes at a complicated time for department stores following measures implemented by the Mexican government to control the expansion of COVID-19. According to consulting firm TiendaTec, between February 28 and April 5, Mexican department stores suffered a 98 percent drop in visits, while some had already closed their doors in an attempt to curb the COVID-19 expansion curve. According to TiendaTec, the greatest drop in visitors was in shopping centers in the north of the country, where the number fell by 80 percent, while in the south of the country the drop was 63 percent. “Supermarkets and pharmacies bring steady traffic to shopping malls, but businesses like cinemas have already closed,” said Zayra Gaona, Analyst at TiendaTec, in an interview with El Economista.
On March 30, the Mexican government declared a national health emergency, announcing the immediate suspension of all non-essential activities. This measure will be in force in the country until April 30 in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19.