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Fresh restrictions could stall recovery for retailers and restaurants

Dine-in and multiplexes will be the biggest laggards, while ordering-in will continue to benefit, said analysts tracking the sector.Premium
Dine-in and multiplexes will be the biggest laggards, while ordering-in will continue to benefit, said analysts tracking the sector.

  • States have imposed night curfews, while others are bringing back curbs on large public gatherings to contain the rapid spread of covid-19
  • Retailers Association of India has been urging the government to consider easing of restrictions in formal retail spaces

NEW DELHI: Restrictions in states such as Karnataka, Maharashtra, Punjab and Gujarat could dampen consumer sentiment and adversely impact sectors such as retail, entertainment and dining-in.

States have imposed night curfews, while others are bringing back curbs on large public gatherings to contain the rapid spread of covid-19.

Retailers Association of India (RAI) has been repeatedly highlighting the fact that formal retail spaces, especially shopping centres are controlled spaces and have standard operating procedures in place. They have got the ability to adhere to hygiene standards and can definitely ensure social distancing, as compared to local markets. The government should consider easing of restrictions in such places and instead utilise shopping centres to speed up the inoculation drive.

“Restrictions like Night Curfews and random RAT tests on mall goers are creating setbacks for retailers as the already stressed retail businesses are getting further interrupted and in turn dampening consumer sentiment," Kumar Rajagopalan, CEO, Retailers Association of India said.

Pune, on Friday, directed bars, hotels, restaurants (for dine-in) to remain closed for seven days and only home delivery will be allowed. Religious places will be completely closed for the next seven days in the city. Karnataka on Friday capped capacity in pubs, bars, clubs, restaurants in the districts of Bengaluru Urban and Rural, Mysuru, Kalburgi, Dakshin Kannada, Udupi, Bidar and Hubali-Dharwad to 50%. In shopping malls, closed markets, departmental stores, the state has sought strict enforcement of covid appropriate behaviour. This comes as India is dealing with a surge in covid cases.

Dine-in and multiplexes will be the biggest laggards, while ordering-in will continue to benefit, said analysts tracking the sector.

“Business is taking a huge beating," a top retailer with stores across malls and high streets told Mint earlier.

Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray on Friday said that that if things do not improve visibly in a couple of days and no other solution is found, the state will have to announce another lockdown. Stricter curbs are already in the works, he said in a virtual address.

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