Sorya Shopping Center Opens As Vendors Halt Rent Protests

The Sorya Shopping Center reopened Saturday as negotiations began between management and some 100 vendors who shut down the mall last week as they protested rent increases.

“We are under negotiations and nothing has been finalized,”  M K Ng, general manager of Sorya, said Sunday, adding that he would reveal further de­tails today.

The multistory mall was closed at about 2 pm Thursday by a walkout of more than 100 vendors protesting a rent increase of 5 percent to 48 percent on their stalls.

Vendors said Sunday that Sorya management had proposed a more moderate increase of 5 percent to 20 percent.

They then returned to their stalls, opening their doors around 3 pm Saturday.

“We reopened shops because we don’t want to lose much money,” one cosmetics vendor said.

Lim Sopheak, shopkeeper of Happy Happy, which sells leather wallets, said Sunday that protesting vendors had vented their complaints at a meeting with management on Friday.

“We were told during the meeting that the management from the mall has agreed that the rental increase will range between 5 to 10 percent,” she said.

“The 10 percent is for those vendors who earn a lot of profits. The 5 percent is for vendors like myself who barely make it,” she added.

With her wallets priced at $2 to $5 each, Lim Sopheak said she makes about $50 to $60 per month in profits after paying taxes, electricity bills and $286 in monthly rent.

“I was happy to hear that I can continue to open my shop,” Lim Sopheak said.

Her contract with the mall ends January 2005.

Depending on the size of the stall and the location, rent can range between $200 and $1,000, vendors said.


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