Retail’s new learnings from a crisis


March 24, 2020 | By RetailME Bureau

Extraordinary times require extraordinary measures – be that organisations facing the odds together, franchisors and franchisees engaging in honest conversations, tenants and landlords sharing the pain.

According to retail professional, Ritesh Mohan, in the wake of the current crisis around COVID-19, most retailers will now prepare themselves by introducing a section in their P&L statements called “crisis budget” allocation as a ‘new learning’ from the current situation.

“The retail sector will learn from this crisis and will emerge stronger than before. In fact, the slowdown gives a moment to retailers and developers to relook at their strategies, their business again and pivot if required,” Mohan observes.

“It is time for all sectors irrespective of their differences and products to come together to help mankind in a bigger way,” he adds. “Think about the LVMH Group using their factories to produce sanitisers for French citizens. Unilever in India is ensuring adequate stock for their hygiene brand Dettol. Mahindra, an automobile group in India, is using their factories to develop ventilators for government hospitals.”

While this crisis too shall pass, measures are being undertaken by the retail community to alleviate each other’s pain.

Commenting on rent relief and stimulus package announced by several developers, Mohan says, “As most retailers are feeling the heat from COVID-19, owing to closure of shops, any news which can alleviate our pain is welcome. This move by the landlords will provide short term relief to retailers, especially mono or single-brand retailers. It is seen – historically – that the bigger holding groups, having heavyweight brands, tend to benefit more due to their higher exposure in the retail space. However, the need of the hour is to safeguard smaller retailers and small businesses in the region.

“In this hour, any measure or steps taken by authorities to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and safeguard the economic interest of the community are welcome,” he concludes.

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