The Covid-19 pandemic has pushed India’s shopping malls into an abyss of financial hardships.
Shopping malls across India had remained closed or operated partially for the most part of the last 18 months of the pandemic. And now with new rules and guidelines even though they are permitted to reopen the customers are not very keen on visiting these establishments.
Empress Mall, which was once home to hundreds of stores, is seeing a great fall in daily customers owing to frequently changing rules and Corona pandemic.
Corona rules, guidelines for shops and people are major reasons for fewer customers in the malls. Fear of getting infection also has affected the footfall.
The four-floor shopping mall has a deserted look during the festive season even though shops, malls, salons were allowed to function upto 10 PM on all days.
On the basis of anonymity, some mall members said that “it is too early to say anything on the business front but the guidelines, frequently changing rules are affecting the store owners to carry out normal business”.
“Even during the festive season limited customers are visiting stores as only double vaccinated people are allowed entry. The stand-alone shops and roadside shops are free to operate without any restriction. In many other states, no such rules have been imposed for the malls”.
From a business point of view, this is a difficult period for malls. Many garment shops have deserted looks. Business only in essential commodities shops is normal. Last month shops, malls, salons were allowed to function up to 10 PM on all days. Only on one condition that only those who have completed 14 days after vaccination will be allowed to enter.