Number of Belarusian buyers in Lithuanian shopping centres decreased by one-third

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Distributors and service providers admit: less and less Belarusians and Russians arrive in Lithuania which influences sales levels. Experts believe the reason for that is the devaluation of the countries’ national currencies, as well as additional taxes on the purchase of foreign currency in Belarus that took place in winter, reports the Lithuanian DELFI.

Inga Navitskayte, the head of a large shopping centre Ozas in Vilnius said that in January 2015 the number of buyers from Belarus decreased by one-third and those from Russia by half compared with the same period last year.

“The number of Belarusian guests decreased by almost 30%, we get the statistics of issued cheques: in January of the last year Belarusians got more than 5,000 cheques, and this year they received a little bit more than 3,600; all in all, the consumer basket remained unchanged,” she admitted.

According to Navitskayte, foreigners come to Lithuania on weekdays, but most of them come on weekends and holidays.

“The main reason is obvious, it is the ruble devaluation. In addition, there were introduced additional taxes on the purchase of foreign currency,” specified Navitskayte. The head of the Ozas also said that the guests complained of the complicated process of obtaining visas.

But the press agent of the Lithuanian shopping center Akropolis, Frederikas Yansonas, stated that the arrival of Belarusians in that mall was a seasonal phenomenon. They expect changes for the better after February-March’s decrease.

And meanwhile Lithuania receives clients from other markets: Scandinavian, German and Polish ones.

Text and pictures by TUT.BY