Metros see mall footfalls drop amid Covid-19 surge
As the Covid-19 omicron variant sweeps through India, shoppers are increasingly avoiding malls causing footfalls to drop in metros including Delhi, Mumbai, and Bengaluru.
The usually busy shopping time at the beginning of the year has been met with muted consumer sentiment in malls amid fears over the new wave of Covid-19. Footfall has dropped by around 15% to 25% in top metros but mall operators are hoping the current retail restrictions are just a short term measure, ET Bureau reported.
According to Delhi's latest restrictions, the area has imposed a weekend curfew beginning this week. This will cause malls and ‘non-essential’ high-street stores to close on Saturday and Sunday for the foreseeable future and is expected to further bring down mall sales but a full-scale lockdown appears unlikely at present.
Mumbai currently does not have any retail restrictions which has kept mall footfalls higher. However, the city reported over 20,000 positive Covid-19 cases in less than 24 hours on Thursday, Livemint reported. This has led to calls for more restrictions to be put in place and this could happen soon as the Maharashtra state government attempts to avoid a healthcare crisis.
January is usually one of the largest-scale sale seasons of the year, especially for fashion retailers. However, brick-and-mortar stores are keeping promotions muted in 2022 due to the current climate.
“Prior to these restrictions, sales had reached the pre-Covid levels and we expect this disruption to be of short term,” DLF Retail’s executive director Pushpa Bector told the Economic Times, remaining positive.
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