Coronavirus in Mumbai: With malls staring at de-growth of 77%, retailers seek Aaditya Thackeray’s help

A day after the Maharashtra Government released a notification allowing opening up of hotels, lodges and guesthouses outside the containment zones at 33% capacity; the Retailers Association of India on Tuesday has sought the intervention of Tourism Minister Aaditya Thackeray for an early opening up of malls in the state.

The Association said in its latest business survey with more than 100 big and small retailers revealed that there has been no significant growth in business for retailers even during the second half of June. Further, the retailers witnessed 67% de-growth from June 15 to 30 compared to the corresponding period last year. During the same time frame, malls witnessed 77% de-growth (y-o-y) on account of not being allowed to open uniformly across the country.

The Association further said that with SOPs in place, malls are functioning well in other states and assured that these practices will be implemented to ensure the safety of customers and staff.

"Dear Shri @AUThackeray, good to know that hotels are now allowed to open. We request you to help us reopen malls in Maharashtra. With SOPs in place, malls are functioning well in other states & these practices will be implemented here as well to ensure safety of customers & staff,’’ the Association said in its tweet. The Association added that the opening up of malls will save jobs and the entire retail chain value.

An earlier consumer sentiment survey by RAI had revealed that more than 60% of the consumers will wait up to 90 days before shopping, keeping in mind expenditure and safety factors. This has resulted in slow growth for the retail sector throughout June. The sentiment got reflected in categories like QSR and restaurants (-71%), followed by beauty, wellness, and personal care (-69%) and apparel, clothing, jewellery, watches, and other personal accessories (-67%).

With Unlock 2.0 on the cards in the next few days and several sectors opening up, the retail sector can hope for a revival of consumption and signs of recovery at least in the second quarter of the year.

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