Retail industry expects business recovery in more than 6 months

New Delhi, April 16 (IANS) An unprecedented 70 per cent of retailers in the country anticipate that their business will recover in more than six months, while 20 per cent expect it to take more than a year, a survey conducted by industry body Retailers Association of India (RAI) stated.

The retail industry, which has more than 15 million retailers and employs over 40-50 million people, is facing the wrath of the coronavirus outbreak and a stringent nationwide lockdown. Most stores, except shops selling essential food and grocery, are shut across the country.

In this backdrop, Retailers Association of India conducted a survey with retailers to gauge an overall view on the impact of the pandemic on their business and manpower. The survey was filled by 768 respondents across the country.

“70% of retailers expect business recovery to happen in more than 6 months, 20% expect it to take more than a year,” the survey stated.

The poll stated that more than 95 per cent of non-food retailers have their shops closed in the lockdown and are looking at practically “no revenues till the lockdown is in place”.

“In the next 6 months, non-food retailers expect to earn 40 per cent as compared to last year’s revenues.”

Alluding to the food retailers, the survey found that their business has come to a standstill in the lockdown leading to revenue loss.

“25 percent of these retailers have non-food stores which have been closed leading to further losses. In the next 6 months, food retailers expect to earn 56 per cent as compared to last year’s revenues,” RAI’s survey added.

In these challenging times, small retailers are expecting to lay off 30 per cent of their manpower, while medium retailers and large retailers might put down 12 per cent and 5 per cent, respectively. “On the whole, retailers who responded to the survey expect lay-off of about 20% of their manpower,” the survey added.

The industry body has requested the government to provide rent waiver, relief on GST, taxes and loans and electricity to the retailers to bring them out of the muddle.

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