Coronavirus blow: 18 lakh jobs at stake; one in every three retail outlets stare at shutdown

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Updated: March 28, 2020 11:23:26 AM

The coronavirus pandemic is expected to deliver a major blow to India’s retail industry with about one in three outlets staring at a shutdown if the lockdown persists.

The coronavirus situation not only has severe implications in future but has already started its onslaught. (Image IE)

The coronavirus pandemic is expected to deliver a major blow to India’s retail industry with about one in three outlets staring at a shutdown if the lockdown persists. The same will also lead to rendering about 18 lakh people jobless. “If the lockdown continues till June, then we will be staring at a scenario where 30% of the retail stores have shut shop for good, leading to 18 lakh people losing their jobs,” Kumar Rajagopalan, CEO, Retailers Association of India (RAI), said in a statement on Friday. India’s 15 lakh modern retail outlets amount to a business of almost Rs 4.74 lakh crore and provide jobs to over 60 lakh people. 

The coronavirus situation not only has severe implications in future but has already started its onslaught. Business had dropped to as much as 20% to 25% by the end of February, RAI said. Businesses dealing in apparel, jewellery, shoes and CDIT (consumer electronics, Durables, IT and telephones), etc have especially borne losses. However, India’s retail is not the only industry suffering from coronavirus lockdown. Aviation, restaurants, hospitality and others are also expecting major revenue losses in the coming months. 

According to another report, shopping malls are also in for revenue pressures if the lockdown continues. “India Ratings and Research believes that retail malls would see a temporary erosion of 10-12 per cent year-on-year of their rental income – the part tied to the mall’s consumption levels, given the temporary closure of malls and heightened risk of reduced footfalls and discretionary consumptions spend,” the report said. 

The country was put under a 21-day lockdown by Prime Minister Narendra Modi as the government looks to put a leash on the spread of coronavirus. The Wuhan-originated virus has already claimed at least 20 lives in the country and the total number of infected cases has risen to 873.

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