Mall owners will finally see the light on June 8, 2020. They are finally bracing up to provide the maximum security to the visitors and comply with the government guidelines. However, they are also carrying the burden of selling off the piled-up inventory.
Everyone has been predicting that many retailers would resort to offering huge discounts and great deals to lure the customers, but, it seems like the retailers have a different strategy. In order to meet the social distancing norms and prevent overcrowding, retailers have decided to not offer discounts.
“We expect only serious shoppers to visit malls, discounts could attract a larger set of the consumer base. Overcrowding is the last thing we want from a safety standpoint,” said J Suresh, chief executive officer at Arvind Fashion, which manages over two dozen brands including Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, and Arrow.
The opening date of the malls is surprisingly coinciding with the end-of-season sales which usually happen during mid-June. Many brands have been offering discounts on their e-commerce sites to induce people to make the purchase.
“It will be a challenge considering the social distance norms and safety measures we have to follow, but we will run it following all norms. There could be queues outside stores when sales start,” Abhishek Ganguly, country head of Puma said.
The government has issued a set of guidelines for the mall owners, which they must comply with, to reopen. These instructions include maintaining social distancing, proper sanitization of the stores and the common touchpoints, wearing protective gear, etc.
“This is not the time to be greedy. The first priority will be to provide a safe and comfortable shopping experience for customers, instead of discounting,” said Rakesh Biyani, managing director at Future Retail.
The retailers, however, believe that the number of visitors inside a store should depend on the store size. They argue that larger stores can accommodate more customers while adhering to social distancing norms. “Brands should be allowed to monitor the number of customers in the store as per the size of the store and ensure social distance norms are being followed,” sais a spokesperson from H&M. They further added that the number of people should be in proportion to the size of the store.
Suggesting a more feasible approach, Pushpa Bector, executive director of DLF Shopping Malls said, “Retailers are free to offer discounts but we would suggest they call their loyal customers at a pre-decided time so that they don’t have to wait outside the malls or shops. Even couples will be advised to maintain social distancing,”
CCI approves Flipkart’s acquisition of ABFRL minority stakes
22 January: Flipkart Investments Private Limited had requested purchase of a minority stake in Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail Limited which was approved by the Competition Commission of India. FIPL proposed the acquisition of 7.8% equity shares of the public limited company ABFRL.
The proposal was drafted in October 2020 which mentions that by way of subscription of equity shares, FIPL is to invest a total of Rs. 1,500 crore for minority shareholding of 7.8%, on a fully diluted basis in ABFRL.
Sharing their take of the website, ABFRL said, “In addition to approval of shareholders by way of Postal Ballot (received on November 22, 2020), the issue was subject to regulatory approvals and completion of customary closing conditions under the Investment Agreement. In this regard, we wish to inform you that CCI has accorded its approval to Flipkart for its proposed acquisition of 7.8 per cent equity stake in the company on a fully diluted basis vide its approval letter dated January 20, 2021.”
Flipkart Investments Private Limited is a newly incorporated company and a subsidiary, wholly owned by Flipkart Private Limited.
ABFRL is a part of Aditya Birla conglomerate and is a public limited company incorporated in India. The company is involved in manufacturing and retailing of branded apparels, accessories, and footwear. The services are provided through their retail stores across India. Other than this, they have multi-brand outlets, departmental stores, e-commerce platforms as well.
Surat’s polished diamond exports improves; overall rise by 41%
20 January: With coronavirus impacting the overall diamond polishing industry in Surat, December month witnessed a significant boost in the polished diamond exports.
The total polished diamond exports rose by 41% year-on-year in December in the previous year as the total stood on Rs. 12,692 crore. Whereas the export count was Rs. 8,000 crore in December of 2019. The data was cited by the Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council and reported by TNN.
Surat’s diamond industry was specifically hit hard during the pandemic as many workers fell ill forcing the polishing units to be shut temporarily. The exports of polishing diamonds decreased by 30% during April to November time period in 2020, however, increasing by 158% towards the end of the unforgettable year.
The export increases were fueled ahead of the holiday seasons reportedly in China and the United States. Both are the main destinations for India’s exported polished diamonds. Other than this, a decreasing covid restriction in India has also contributed towards the increased demand.
This gave a ray of hope to the industry as the boost was much-needed after covid-19 took over the businesses and their operations. Since the pandemic, this is the first time that the industry witnessed a year-to-year increase giving a confidence boost in the sector.
Textile industry might get stable by 2022 financial year, states ICRA
Textile industry, January: 2022 will be seeing a stabilised Indian textile sector along with the cotton spinning and apparel exports segment faring ‘especially well’, this was Consumer Ratings Business ICRA‘s confidence. The confidence came to light when it said that the cotton spinning and apparel exports could be increased by 15% to 20% in the financial year of 2022.
Further, fabrics could go up by between 30% to 35% and domestic apparel segments could grow by 35% to 40%. At the same time, these segments are expected to face steep declines in the 2021 financial year.
With the rolling out of the vaccinations in the country leading to a rise in the positive consumer behaviour, ICRA is confident the industry will see a silver lining in the coming time. Economies are opening and a surge can be witnessed in the domestic and export demand. With this, the textile sector can expect the positive sentiment of the third quarter of the 2021 financial year to continue in the upcoming quarters.
Talking about the findings, Jayanta Roy serving as ICRA’s senior vice president and group head for the Corporate Sector Ratings was quoted as saying to Press Trust of India, “As demand continues to normalise in domestic as well as export markets, we expect the textile sector performance to recover to pre-Covid levels in FY2022 at a broader level. Accordingly, ICRA’s textiles sector outlook for FY2022 is stable.”
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