The six major malls in the city clocked a revenue of Rs 25 crore to Rs 27 crore in the first week of business after a two month break, nearly quarter of which took place on Saturday despite overcast skies and the pandemic gloom. Retailers claimed the malls would have closed the week with a revenue of around Rs 35 crore had it not rained so heavily on Sunday.
“It was the first weekend after the malls reopened . Over the week, shoppers were seen gaining confidence and comfortable visiting the mall. Weekend compared to weekdays are promising and we saw a surge on Saturday. Unfortunately, due to heavy rain from morning till late afternoon on Sunday, footfalls dipped. Though it improved in the evening, the numbers fell short of Saturday,” said South City mall vice-president Manmohan Bagree. South City mall earned a revenue of Rs 5 crore during the week, down from Rs 20 crore before lockdown.
Acropolis did Rs 4 crore, down from Rs 16 crore in February. “We have restricted the capacity to accommodate only 30% of our normal footfalls to maintain social distancing. In the first week, we registered a 10% rise in footfall on the first weekend post-reopening. Also, only the discerning buyers came with a specific purpose of shopping or eating out. I expect the numbers to go up in subsequent weekends if rain doesn’t play spoilsport,” said Acropolis general manager K Vijayan. Quest mall vice-president Sanjeev Mehra felt people’s hesitance to venture out would not go till the Covid situation improved. “There is no denying that people are scared. We are putting safety measures in place to instil confidence,” he said.
Many retailers told TOI fear psychosis had kept many big spenders away. Ramesh Pandey, wholetime director at Ambuja Neotia that operates City Centre-I in Salt Lake and City Centre-II in New Town, said the fear factor needed to be addressed, though he acknowledged it wasn’t easy when India’s Covid graph kept shooting up. “Every mall is doing its bit, from thermal screening to ensuring social distancing, fumigation, disninfectionof all the touch points. We will ensure the regimen continues,” he said.
Customers largely behaved responsibly but there are areas of concern. Sudarshana Gangulee of Mani Square said while some adhered to distance markers on elevators and escalators, some moved in close proximity in other places. At South City, some customers were turned away for carrying big bags that were disallowed.
Source:Times of India