When you step out to shop after the lockdown is lifted, be prepared to shop by appointment and enter the showroom in personal protective gear. As safety tops customer priorities, retailers know that footfall post-covid-19 will dwindle.

Nevertheless, they are going the extra mile, devising ways to woo customers back, while addressing hygiene and social distancing norms. Shop by appointment might be a reality going forward. In a webinar on retail business roadmap organized by the Retailers Association of India on 29 April, Ajay Kapoor, president, retail, Fabindia stated that how shoppers may need to book ahead after the end of lockdown.

Shoppers may need to book ahead after the end of lockdown

He stated that the biggest challenge for Fabindia will be to regulate traffic to its popular stores while adhering to social distancing norms. Fabindia, which is running 10 out of its 327 stores to deliver food and essential items, is trying to work on the concept of shopping by appointment. Men’s clothing brand Blackberrys is working to keep its showrooms clean by regular cleaning of door knobs, covering of footwear, and sanitizing trial rooms and cash desk.

Furthermore, Blackberry’s founder and director, Nitin Mohan stated that they are equally conscious of the safety of their sales team and customer care associates, so they are advising them to avoid public transport. In addition to this, it has also decided that the trial clothes for customers will be kept aside for a few days before being put back on the shelves.

India’s retail industry may take at least 9-12 months to recover from the pandemic. It is imperative for malls and stores 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 business will revive.

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