As malls remain closed under the extended lockdown, some are hoping to offer home deliveries in order to restart business.
A number of retailers and restaurants which run establishments in malls have asked the government to allow them to offer home delivery while shoppers are not allowed in malls, TNN reported. Many retailers are facing challenges with paying rent, as cash flows halted when many malls closed, even before the nationwide lockdown was enforced on March 25.
Many retailers believe there is demand for their products, even if they are officially deemed ‘non-essential’.
“There are a whole lot of essentials required for newborns that our stores cater to,”Shiv Daswani of children’s wear brand, Little Shop, told TNN.
“I have received calls from couples who have recently had a child and are desperate for specific merchandise and toiletries for infants but I have been unable to help.”
Restaurants, too, believe there is demand for home delivery. Although a number of malls are redesigning their floor plans to allow for social distancing – and some are even building isolation rooms for anyone suspected of having coronavirus – the government still deems them too much of a risk to reopen. Many malls have also stated that they will continue to demand rent from their retailer tenants, as they have their own financial commitments to uphold.
Before lockdown, malls were already fighting competition from the increase in online shopping in India. Time will tell whether the lockdown affects how consumers feel about malls in the future.
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