Taking appointments for shopping could be the new reality after lockdown.

Retail outlet owners are aware that the reality post lockdown would follow new norms. Shopping stores could witness a drastic drop in the number of footfalls. The retail owners are coming up with ideas to woo the customers during the upcoming wedding and festive seasons.

Customers might have to take a prior appointment at the stores, and also wear protective gear before entering the showroom. The doorknobs, trial rooms, floors, lift facility and the spaces of the stores would be frequently sanitized.

Ajay Kapoor, the President of retail business at Fab India, said regulating the traffic entering their stores while maintaining social distance post lockdown would be the biggest challenge. Fab India is currently working on the new norm of taking appointments before entering the store for shopping a mandatory guideline. Commenting about the post lockdown scenario, Ajay said, “Shop by appointment probably looks like a reality going forward.”

The showrooms of Blackberrys have taken the initiative of sanitizing the store at frequent intervals. Talking about the safety measures, Nitin Mohan, Founder and Director, Blackberrys said, “In addition to tangible measures, we are equally conscious of the safety of our sales team and customer care associates, so we are advising them to avoid public transport to travel.”
Blackberrys has also decided to keep aside the clothes that are tried on by customers for a few days, before putting them back in the shelves.

Sumit Ghosh, Director at Fossil India, said, “Most important thing for malls and stores to do is to create an environment of safety and win over the first few shoppers coming in. Then the word-of-mouth will spread. More and more shoppers will become comfortable and the business will revive.”
Sumit also added that, “We have been early movers and believers in this and all our stores are live on online platforms. Around 10-12% of our sales comes through this channel. Which is a low hanging fruit.” The Fossil Group’s business has fallen by 40-50% in the past few weeks of lockdown restriction.

It is estimated that India’s retail industry might take another 9 to 12 month to recover from the effects of the global pandemic.

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