The global lockdown to check the Covid-19 has malls across India suffering the adverse effects of the pandemic. The major focus of malls in Delhi post lifting of lockdown will be to inspire confidence in customers and communicating to them the safety measures in place at the malls, reveals Abhishek Bansal, Executive Director, Pacific Malls, Delhi.
Pushpa Bector, Executive Director, DLF Malls says mall apps would ‘aggressively’ provide real-time information on safety, security and sanitation.
She said retail brands were being asked to restrict the number of people in each store, while fashion brands had been advised to do away with trial rooms and follow a stricter return policy. Food outlets are being instructed to keep a distance of six feet between tables, accept pre-orders and focus on takeaway.
Although Yogeshwar Sharma, CEO and Executive Director, Select Infrastructure force behind Select City Walk Mall plans to follow precautions such as sanitizing handrails, one person per step on escalators, ensure social distancing and educate people about hygiene, mall regulars say people will take time to return to malls after the lockdown.
While most mall operators pin their hopes on things looking up by Diwali and business as usual from Christmas onwards, they can only defer the rent payment because they have not got waivers from banks or authorities on the interests for loans taken during construction of their properties. According to Bansal, an anti-Covid vaccine is the only shot that will boost the customer’s confidence as well as business prospects.