People stay away from malls as Covid cases grow in Delhi, Mumbai: SCAI

When contacted, SCAI President Mukesh Kumar said curfew imposed in Delhi and Bengaluru over the weekend hit shopping center business.

The number of feet in shopping malls dropped to 25 percent in the first week of January 2022 due to restrictions imposed by states to control the spread of the coronavirus, according to the industry body SCAI. In addition, consumers are also concerned about getting out in the midst of a growing number of Covid cases across the country, the Indian Shopping Centers Association (SCAI) said. Lower rates and sales have led to a build-up of inventory in retail outlets in malls. In cities such as Delhi, Bengaluru and Mumbai, which are witnessing a sharp jump in the number of Covid cases, customers have missed out, skipping annual promotions. When contacted, SCAI President Mukesh Kumar said curfew imposed in Delhi and Bengaluru over the weekend hit shopping center business.

Weekend sales contribute nearly 30 to 40 percent of their business. “We expect a drop in the number of people. It should be accepted that there is a fear of Omicron in the public and that it is spreading fast “, said Mukesh Kumar for PTI. Food and beverage and multiplex businesses were most affected in Delhi and Bengaluru, where weekend closures were announced. “As for food and drink, we expect a slight slowdown because in most countries they are asked to close by 10 pm. That would have an impact on pubs, while restaurants that have family meals would not have much of an impact. As far as retail is concerned, most shops close from 9 pm to 9.30 pm “, he added. He said, however, that shopping malls generally record fewer people in the first week of January each year. “It simply came to our notice then. “If it has not become too serious, then it will not have an impact,” he added.

The Delhi government introduced curfew on weekends, while Karnataka declared curfew on weekends and extended night curfew to two weeks in the state. Nexus Malls – Karnataka cluster director Manoj Singh said that since shopping malls are closed on weekends, there will be a 50 percent loss of business. “We are already seeing a drop in rates of about 15-25 percent in shopping malls during the first week of 2022,” he said. Nexus Malls has a total of 16 shopping malls located in 12 cities, and of these five malls are located in Karnataka. Pacific Group CEO Abhishek Bansal said: “Operations in our shopping malls in Delhi have fallen by 60 percent, while retail sales have fallen by 70 percent due to COVID restrictions.” As he said, there will be a complete loss of work due to curfew in the country’s capital over the weekend. Bansal said in January that rates and demand were generally high due to annual sales by retailers.

“Stocks have piled up in malls,” he said. Pacific Group has three shopping malls in Shubash Nagar, Pitampuri and Dwarka in the capital. However, mall owners provide security to visitors and customers by strictly adhering to the protocol and have also asked the government to allow them to operate as usual. “We have reached out to the government to return to normal times. We would maintain a protocol to ensure that people who visit there are double vaccinated, ”said Kumar of SCAI. “We just hope there are no more reactions from the authorities.” However, he reiterated that security for customers and visitors is very important and that shopping malls are safe. “We welcome the efforts made by state governments to curb the spread of the virus, however, we would like to encourage them to reconsider their decision to close over the weekend,” said Singh of Nexus Malls. He added that shopping malls are by far the most controlled and safest shopping experience that individuals can get.

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