According to the retailer’s body (1), more than 45% of the business for the entire week happens over the weekends. The agency further stated that retailers had faced losses over the previous four months due to the lockdown. Retailers now depend on the weekend business for an aid from the financial stress they are facing.
The local authorities in some states are imposing strict lockdowns on weekends. The move is setting back the recoveries of the retailers, the body added.
Retailers’ body further stated that India’s retail industry is struggling to get back on its feet. It is facing constant obstacles at the local and state level. It includes weekend curfews and partial lockdowns. The move is most likely to continue to hurt the retail business while dampening the consumers’ sentiments.
Retailer’s Body: Imposing Irrational Weekend lockdown is Crippling the Sector
More than ten states are imposing irrational weekend lockdowns. It includes Punjab, Kerala, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh, Nagaland, and others, says the retailer’s body.
Kumar Rajagopalan, RAI Chief Executive Officer, further added that these reactions are crippling the retail sector while also affecting gravely to the economy. The retailer’s body has urged the central and state government to work collaboratively to support the retail industry revival.
Kumar further stated that India has a consumption economy. If the retail industry suffers, it would have a grave effect on the value chain, including manufacturing, entertainment, and many other enterprises.
As per the retailer’s body, most retailers have 60 to 70% fixed costs. It includes rents, salaries that make a large part of the fixed price. These costs, along with low margins, is leaving businesses with limited to no flexibility. It has already started to layoff, and downscaling operation says, Kumar.
In such difficult times, it is vital to keep the stores open all day and for extended hours. Only such a move would help retailers to get back from the financial stress the sector has been facing.
The retailer’s body has also claimed that there are continued weekend and partial lockdowns, notwithstanding the orders of MHA. It is suggesting that there is a lack of coordination between the states and the center.