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Retail Sector in India to be Hit Severely by Coronavirus Outbreak

Coronavirus crisis to severely affect India's retail sector

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Retail sector
Many malls have been shut down due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis but this would have a severe financial impact on the country's retail sector. Pixabay

The coronavirus outbreak has caused panic among the common people and resulted in precautionary measures across several states in India including shutting of malls and theatres. This is health news.

These measures and concern among the public, although very necessary and timely, would have a severe financial impact on the country’s retail sector, sector experts said.

Anuj Kejriwal, MD and CEO of Anarock Retail said: “Amid the rising number of coronavirus cases in the country, the order of closure of malls and multiplexes across many top cities by the respective state governments to prevent people congregating for any reason, has caused the organised retail scene in these cities to come to a grinding halt.”

Along with schools and colleges, malls and movie theatres among other places and events of mass congregation of people have been shut for the next one or two weeks across several states.

According to Anarcok Retail data, the eight major cities of India have 126 malls sprawling over more than 61 million square feet area, and out of them, 101 malls have multiplexes attached. “Wherever it has been mandated, there will therefore be a high number of establishments that need to shut down for operations. Even short-term closures will have significant financial implications,” Kejriwal said.

Retail sector
According to Anarcok Retail data, the eight major cities of India have 126 malls sprawling over more than 61 million square feet area, and out of them, 101 malls have multiplexes attached. Pixabay

He, however, said that what matters more is that these establishments attract massive footfalls and in a health crisis like the coronavirus pandemic, shutting them down can be a major step forward in terms of harm prevention. This week, the Delhi government announced of a shutdown of cinemas along with schools and colleges till March 31. Several shopping malls in the National Capital Region (NCR) already have a deserted look due to the concerns of the deadly virus being spread.

Delhi-NCR has 33 malls, out of which 18 malls have movie theatres attached. Film exhibitor PVR has said that it respects the advisory issued by the administrations in Kerala, Delhi and the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir to shut down all cinema halls till March 31, 2020 as a precautionary and preventive measure to prevent spread of COVID-19.

“We believe that this is a temporary situation and remain buoyant about the film business in India, and our own growth prospects. We also look forward to continuing to serve our guests in the states of Kerala, Delhi and UT of Jammu and offering them a world class movie going experience April 1, 2020 onwards,” it said.

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“There might be a limited impact in india but we are confident of it not being strong enough to impact the sales through the year,” he said. Aero Club’s Harkirat Singh said that as people have had to stay mostly indoors due to the virus outbreak, such a situation is bound to impact the businesses, but hoped that that the situation would be short-lived and a solution to the crisis will be found soon. (IANS)

Next Story

Weakning Demand Caused by Coronavirus Pandemic To Impact Indian Smartphone Market

Some brands like Apple, Samsung, Xiaomi, Realme, OPPO, Nokia HMD and Lava have already set up services on top of the active user base

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Smartphone
Some brands like Apple, Samsung, Xiaomi, Realme, OPPO, Nokia HMD and Lava have already set up services on top of the active user base. Pixabay

More than the supply concerns, weakening demand due the uncertainties brought about by the novel coronavirus is set to impact the India smartphone market the most, according to a projection by market research firm techARC.

During the calendar year 2020, demand is likely to be low particularly during the April-August period. “There can be no qualitative deterministic measurement of the impact done in this situation. There are so many uncertainties around and the situation is impacting both the supply and the demand side of the market,” said Faisal Kawoosa, Founder and Chief Analyst, techARC.

“We expect supply chain to resume in June in India. Thus April and May will be the worst affected months in terms of shipments, be it out of China or in India,” Kawoosa added. What is more worrying is the weakening demand as consumers are now focusing on spending their money only on essentials like food and medicine.

“Only those requiring a smartphone in case of breakdown will be the primary buyers. The elective upgrades and replacements will be at minimal,” said Kawoosa. Supply, including the channels (offline as well as online) should be back to normal in September. This will be fundamentally triggered by ground-up to festive season.

Smartphone
More than the supply concerns, weakening demand due the uncertainties brought about by the novel coronavirus is set to impact the India smartphone market the most, according to a projection by market research firm techARC. Pixabay

But even during the October-December quarter, demand could be lukewarm due to the the macro-economic scenario by then as well as fear of the viral infection resurfacing towards the winter. “Only if, there would be a vaccination available by then at mass scale, the market could see revival, but not at the normal levels,” Kawoosa said, adding that the smartphone industry will have to look at other revenues, especially service-oriented offerings, to offset the gap which will arise due to low sales of smartphones in 2020.

Some brands like Apple, Samsung, Xiaomi, Realme, OPPO, Nokia HMD and Lava have already set up services on top of the active user base.

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“They need to further look for more paying services to narrow the gap between the potential earnings through sale of hardware and the actual revenues they can realise in 2020,” said the report. (IANS)