Retailers face large-scale closures amid COVID-19 alert

Croma, which shut 30 stores on Thursday, eyes digital sales

Organised retailers, dealing with non-essential daily use items, are struggling to keep their business operations on, even as State governments are coming out with new regulations to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the country.

Though all business establishments inside shopping malls, other than those dealing with essential items such as grocery and vegetables, have been closed, several standalone stores of organised retail chains have also been closed to comply with the regulations.

According to retailers, authorities are not allowing stores located in densely populated areas to remain open. In Mumbai, civic authorities have identified areas where shops other than those selling groceries and medicines will remain open every alternate day. Similarly, authorities in Gurugram have imposed fresh restrictions. The ban on the presence of more than 50 people at one place is preventing many large stores from remaining open as their employee strength itself is high.

For example Croma, which had shut down 60 stores as of Wednesday, had to close 30 more outlets on Thursday to comply with restrictions. Earlier this week, the retail chain had shuttered certain standalone stores in Mumbai, which have now reopened. Croma has 161 stores nationally.

Ritesh Ghosal, Chief Marketing Officer, Croma, said, “Some of our stores are shut in light of the current events; however, due to our omni presence, we are able to cater to customers’ demand via Customers are choosing options like 3-hour delivery on personal gadgets, next-day delivery on home appliances… We are ensuring utmost hygiene for our delivery staff and vehicles as well,” he said. Westside had to close 59 of its 164 outlets. These include 40 stores located in malls and 19 standalone units.


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