Retailers Association of India (RAI), has sent a written appeal to Mr. MK Stalin, the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu to allow retail stores which sell non-essential items such as apparel and footwear which are less than 3,000 sft to open their outlets. A copy of the letter can be accessed here.
While appreciating the untiring efforts of the State Authorities in managing the second wave of the pandemic, the advocacy noted that it’s important for the state t help minimise impact and aid recovery citing that the pandemic has been brutal on individuals and businesses alike.
Stating that non-essentials stores of 1,000 sft get a maximum of 10-15 footfalls a day, RAI appealed that retail stores may be allowed to open for customers to shop daily needs while ensuring COVID appropriate behaviour is followed. It also said that non-essential retailers be allowed to undertake door deliveries through phone orders to ensure fewer people step outside of their homes.
Further, RAI apprised that there are over 10 lakh retailers in the state and employs over 50 lakh citizens of which 90% of them work in retail stores and earn minimum wages and live a hand-to-mouth existence. And that with the closure and projected slowdown of retail consumption, the entire supply chain is under stress with Distributors, C&F agents and Manufacturers will have cancellation of orders leading to loss of income which will lead to unemployment of the work force.
RAI has 1,800 members who undertake the business of Retail who have over 5 lakh outlets spread all across India and employ together, over 12 lakh employees. Recently, a delegation of members from RAI Tamil Nadu met the Chief Minister and offered a donation of Rs. 66 Lakhs towards Covid Relief fund.