17 January 2022, Mumbai:
The Shopping Centres Association of India is sure that mall owners will offer shopkeepers relief as retail limitations to combat the third wave of Covid-19 saw malls shut down to varying degrees across the country.
"This is the third time it's happened, and in the previous two rounds, developers and shopping centres stood behind their tenants and shops," SCAI director Abhishek Bansal told the Press Trust of India.
"They'll stand with their partners in this third wave as well so that everyone gets through this."
Despite SCAI's assurances, many retailers are concerned about the new, rapidly growing retail restrictions, which come just as the wedding season approaches.
This is a time of year when apparel and jewellery stores hope to make some of their best sales of the year, and the cancellation of weddings and the reduction of business hours will undoubtedly stymie this.
Many mall owners offered discounts and rent waivers to store owners during the initial and second waves of the virus, and some malls also offered discounts and revenue share models during the recovery phases.
However, other malls faced huge debt obligations and were unable to give big reductions in order to avoid defaulting on the loans.
Reduced operation hours affect not only fashion and lifestyle businesses in malls, but also eateries in food courts and multiplex operators. SCAI is convinced that mall owners would support these businesses in the same way they have supported them.
"The third wave of Covid has once again put businesses under stress," said Kumar Rajagopalan, CEO of the Retailers Association of India, according to ET Bureau. "Different sections of the country have different rules for dealing with it."
This means that merchants and malls will communicate to one another and try to come up with new arrangements to help them weather the storm."
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