After a long halt in operations and a huge loss in sales, fashion retailers are all set to reopen their stores but, with caution.
Apparel retailers who suffered huge losses due to the unprecedented situation and nationwide lockdown, finally see a sign of relief. However, they have to be more cautious than ever and safety and hygiene should be placed at the forefront. Gaining a customer’s trust is vital to pick up lost sales. Many retail stores are tailoring special SOP’s for the smooth functioning of the business and to abide by the government regulations.
Footwear retailers Bata India Ltd. also opened 180 out of the total 1400 stores across the country. “We are encouraging customers to try shoes themselves, make contactless payments, and insist on an e-invoice. Our contact center is keeping customers informed about which stores have re-opened,” Sandeep Kataria, chief executive officer, Bata India said. It has opened stores in Bengaluru, Kochi, Mangaluru, Puducherry, Thiruvananthapuram, Guwahati, among others. The footwear retailer has designed a multi-lingual instruction manual for its employees and has totally eliminated the use of paper bills.
United Colors of Benetton resumed its operations in over a dozen out of the 350 stores in Goa, Panchkula, and Imphal. Although, stores located in metropolitan cities are still shut, as the dominance of the virus in these cities restrict the movement of people. However, Sundeep Chugh, chief executive officer, and managing director, Benetton India believes that the pandemic is going to take a heavy toll on the retailers. The company is encouraging cashless payments, online invoices, and limited staff. Keeping the tried-on clothes away from the racks for 24-28 hours before bringing them back, is an appreciable move by Benetton.
Generating traffic to the stores amid the dreadful situation is a big challenge that lies ahead of the retailers. Adhering to strict safety and hygiene norms is the key to bounce back.