With fewer COVID-19 cases and a continuous vaccination drive, the Maharashtra government finally gave its long-awaited approval. This allows shopping malls and restaurants to remain open till 10 pm with 50% capacity from August 15 onwards, provided the entire staff is fully vaccinated. Local shops are also allowed to operate till 10 pm.
This is expected to be a big positive for the hospitality sector, considering it is in-and-out shut since last year. Before the second COVID-19 wave, hotels, malls and multiplexes were allowed to carry operations. With rising deaths and positive cases, everything was shut immediately. However, things are again seeing a new silver lining, and the state government is steadily opening up the economy.
How Will This Benefit the Hospitality Sector?
Restaurant and shopping mall owners have been pleading with the Maharashtra government for a long time to extend the current schedules. On a monthly basis, the shopping industry is losing about Rs 40,000 crore of revenue. Now, the industry’s recovery is completely dependent on the upcoming festive season, where traditionally 30-40% of revenue is derived for the retailers.
Hence, listed stocks like LemonTree Hotels, Chalet Hotels, TajGVK Hotels, Shoppers Stop etc., saw an up move of up to 10% in today’s trade. Since there is still no news on the multiplexes front, PVR and Inox Leisure rose only about 3%.
Analysts believe the demand for these stocks will soon be higher after further easing the COVID-19 restrictions and the festive season lying ahead.
What’s Happening in the Other States?
Maharashtra has been following serious restrictions as compared to other states. Prominent malls in Chandigarh, Bengaluru and Delhi, have reported a sharp rebound with sales, almost reaching 70-80% of the pre-COVID levels. Footfalls have increased in the metro cities except for Mumbai. Last year, recovery in malls during June-July was less than 40% of pre-Covid levels, however, the situation is much different this time.
The Way Forward
Increased vaccination campaigns have uprooted the fear among the masses, encouraging them to indulge in shopping. The current recovery in the malls of different cities is admirable. Many brands are offering end-of-the-season sales of up to 70% discount, which is to encourage more shopping to recover earlier losses.
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