As malls and shopping plazas across cities reopened on Monday after 74 days of lockdown, the spirit of business may have been unlocked but shoppers remained tied up in knots about whether or not to step out for that long overdue dose of retail therapy.
Most malls and plazas reported low to moderate footfall, and sales were tepid at best, according to retailers. At a mall in Lucknow’s
, a young couple who hadn’t had a date in more than two months was among the few visitors throughout the day. They only visited the food court for a snack and a chat.
Ahmedabad’s usually busy One Mall had a sprinkling of visitors in the first half of the day and almost none thereafter as rain put paid to chances of footfall picking up late afternoon. “Till 2pm, we had some 1,700 people coming in,” said Jayen Naik, senior VP (operations) of the mall.
Kolkata seemed to be the exception, with managers of the larger malls such as South City and Acropolis saying their first-day turnout was decent for a Monday. “Stores selling kids wear and infant essentials did good business, as did some of the regular apparel stores. The F&B segment logged 30-40% of pre-Covid weekday sales,” an official said.
In Bengaluru, not all malls reopened on Monday, while those that did had little to cheer about in terms of footfall. Some malls put up boards saying they would open only from Wednesday as they required more time to sanitise the premises.
Jaipur’s MI Road, a hub for jewellery, branded clothes, handicrafts, shoes and bags, reported 15-20% of its usual business on Monday.