Covid-hit retailers eye Diwali push to beat the downturn

Retail traders across the country hope a pick up in the business from Navratra to Diwali this year after a massive slump due to situation arising out of the Covid-19 pandemic. According to Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), ever since the lockdown was imposed on 24 March, the Indian retail sector has lost about Rs 7.50 lakh crore of business which has resulted in GST revenue loss to Central and state governments to the tune of about Rs 1.15 lakh crore.

It has said, after the lockdown is lifted, commercial markets in the country is likely to see customer footfall of about 20% only as the coronavirus fear still persists among the consumers, which will prevent them to visit markets. However, the confederation believes that there will be a pick up in the business from Navratra to Diwali (around October), owing to savings effected during lockdown period resulting in accumulated money being spent during the festival season. This is the only ray of hope for the traders, said the CAIT.

“Because of great financial crunch with the traders, lockdown is likely to witness at least 20% of Indian retailers collapse and wind up their businesses and about 10% of other traders dependent upon these 20% traders to also collapse as a consequence,” said CAIT secretary general Praveen Khandelwal. He said the business pattern in the country is bound to change altogether.

“Collaborative and systematic business, having a professional element, upgraded and modernised retail format, health safety precautionary measures, round the clock internal security systems, adoption of digital and contactless payments and other business technologies, maintaining cleanliness, customer-centric business atmosphere will be the new paradigm of business,” he pointed out. Khandelwal said that Covid-19 has caused a huge irreparable dent in Indian retail trade which will have a devastating effect on the whole country

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