Retailers Association of India calls for gradual reopening of malls and shopping centres
The Retailers Association of India has stated that it is time to gradually reopen formal retail, shopping centres, and malls in order to enable the wider economy to begin to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The only way of getting rid of the economic impact of the pandemic and saving livelihoods is by everybody participating in sharing of the cost burden and acting to revive retail business activity,” said the RAI in a statement, the Press Trust of India reported.
Malls have already begun to slowly reopen in some areas such as in Haryana. The state has allowed shopping malls to reopen with limited business hours from 10am to 6pm and a visitor limit of one person per 25 square foot area.
“This is a good move and recognition of malls as controlled spaces will be a positive step as they support the livelihood of thousands of employees,” said RAI CEO, Kumar Rajagopalan, about the new regulations in Haryana, the PTI reported.
“We hope other states will also follow the same method when opening up and support the economy. We believe that formal retail spaces like malls have the ability to operate as a controlled environment.”
The lockdowns across India have particularly affected shopping malls which have remained closed for longer periods of time than stand-alone stores in a move to avoid over-crowding. Although many brands retailing in malls have requested rent reductions, many mall owners have given only limited aid as they have large loan payments to keep on top of.
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