Coronavirus impact: Retailers expect around 80,000 job losses due to lockdown, says survey

PTI New Delhi | Updated on April 07, 2020 Published on April 07, 2020

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Around 80,000 jobs expected to be cut by various retailers due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, according to a survey by industry body RAI.

The Retailers Association of India (RAI) had conducted a survey of 768 retailers, which employ 3,92,963 people across India, to gauge their view on the impact of Covid-19 on their business and manpower.


“Small retailers are expecting to lay-off 30 per cent of their manpower going forward, this number falls to 12 per cent for medium (sized) retailers and 5 per cent for large retailers. On the whole, retailers who responded to the survey expect lay-off of about 20 per cent of their manpower,” RAI said. The expectation of retrenchment of 20 per cent of employees by those featured in the survey amounts to 78,592 people.

According to the industry body, small retailers featured in the survey employ less than 100 persons and accounted for 65 per cent of the respondents. Medium retailers have 100-1,000 employees making up for 24 per cent of respondents, while large retailers employ over 1,000 people and accounted for 11 per cent of the respondents.

Revenue hit

Ever since the lockdown was imposed on March 25, more than 95 per cent of non-food retailers have closed their outlets and are looking at practically no revenues during the period and they expect to earn only about 40 per cent of last year’s revenue in the next six months, the survey said.

As for food retailers, in the next six months they expect to earn 56 per cent as compared to last year’s revenues. With most of food retailers also selling non-essential goods in the same or different stores. The non-food business in the stores has come to a standstill during the lockdown, leading to revenue loss, it added.

On the business outlook, 70 per cent of retailers expect business recovery to happen in more than six months, while 20 per cent expect it to take more than a year.

Help needed

On expectations from the government, RAI said two out of three retailers employing substantial workforce want employee salary and rent support to manage their fixed costs and limit manpower downsizing. “Without this support the retailers are looking at around 20 per cent manpower reduction due to Covid-19,” it added.

RAI further said two out of five retailers want concessions and relief on GST, taxes and loans to ensure business continuity in the face of the revenue downfalls and heavy losses for 2020-21.

The retailers are requesting for additional 60 days for payment of electricity charges and waiver of minimum demand charge for the same period with one out of ten retailers considering this as a key ask from the government to manage finances in this period of uncertainty, RAI said.

Published on April 07, 2020

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