Offline retail revival depends on COVID vaccination coverage, says expert

By: |
July 17, 2021 9:28 PM

After one and half years of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a growing concern regarding the complete replacement of offline retail businesses by online e-commerce firms.

Offline retail revival depends on COVID vaccination coverage, says expertEarlier this month, retailers and wholesale traders were reinstated under the MSME sector to benefit under priority sector lending. (Reuters/File image)

Future of brick-and-mortar retail stores looks promising if the vaccination drive continues at full steam as it will help improve consumer
confidence, a top official of a leading retail chain said on Saturday.

Retail boom will be directly correlated to vaccination levels, Shoppers Stop MD and CEO Venu Nair said.

Countries like Dubai and Australia that have either vaccinated the majority of their population or have been closing their borders early compared to other nations are witnessing huge improvements in retail and consumer confidence, he said.

“While the first phase of COVID 19 had severe impacts on retail, it has become much more tapered in India during the second wave. Consumer confidence has increased with the availability of vaccines. The future of Indian retail also looks promising, provided the vaccination drive continues at full steam,” Nair said at an event organised by Indian Chamber of Commerce.

After one and half years of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a growing concern regarding the complete replacement of offline retail businesses by online e-commerce firms.

Nair said the upsurge of online retail sales will not slow down businesses of brick-and-mortar shops and instead will force retailers to think differently.

“In a country like ours where 71 per cent of the pie is shared by unorganised retail, the online sector is providing an opportunity to convert unorganised units to organised ones, thereby increasing the overall size of the industry,” he said.

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