Offline retail revival depends on COVID vaccination coverage says expert

    Kolkata, Jul 17 (PTI) Future of brick-and-mortar
retail stores looks promising if the vaccination drive
continues at full steam as it will help improve consumer
confidence, a top official of a leading retail chain said on
    Retail boom will be directly correlated to vaccination
levels, Shoppers Stop MD and CEO Venu Nair said.
    Countries like Dubai and Australia that have either
vaccinated the majority of their population or have been
closing their borders early compared to other nations are
witnessing huge improvements in retail and consumer
confidence, he said.
    "While the first phase of COVID 19 had severe impacts
on retail, it has become much more tapered in India during the
second wave. Consumer confidence has increased with the
availability of vaccines. The future of Indian retail also
looks promising, provided the vaccination drive continues at
full steam," Nair said at an event organised by Indian Chamber
of Commerce.
    After one and half years of the COVID-19 pandemic,
there has been a growing concern regarding the complete
replacement of offline retail businesses by online e-commerce
    Nair said the upsurge of online retail sales will not
slow down businesses of brick-and-mortar shops and instead
will force retailers to think differently.
    "In a country like ours where 71 per cent of the pie
is shared by unorganised retail, the online sector is
providing an opportunity to convert unorganised units to
organised ones, thereby increasing the overall size of the
industry," he said. PTI BSM

(This story has not been edited by THE WEEK and is auto-generated from PTI)