According to Uruguayan press reports, insolvency proceedings have begun at Melancia Shopping Mall as creditors look to recover outstanding debts. A court appointed liquidator is now managing the retail complex to assess the long-term viability of the US$60 million retail complex situated on the outskirts of the Uruguay border town of Rivera.
The complex, which hosts three duty free stores* and 60 duty paid shops, opened in November 2015, just as the Brazilian economic crisis took hold. A spokesman for the liquidator said, “We are looking at revenues and verifying if these are able to meet fixed costs. The plan is to keep the operation running until July when a creditors meeting is scheduled.”
Travel retail observers tell TMI that they expect the duty free stores and most of the duty paid stores to remain open and for business to continue as normal. Most expect a change of ownership in the medium term and the completion of the long-awaited bus terminal. A multiscreen cinema complex and a renovated food court are also planned and these would bring increased traffic to the mall.
*Neutral and Grupo Wisa had built the two anchor stores (of 4,000sqm each). Wisa also operated another smaller store. The Wisa stores are now operated by Fenix Duty Free