Retailers dodging on and off along heavy risk of pandemic

Retailers dodging on and off along the heavy risk of the pandemic

Retailers dodging on and off along the heavy risk of the pandemic


Among all the negative effects of Covid-19, it caused a huge dent in the retail trade industry, which is having a devastating effect on the whole country. Most retail stores, except the stores selling essential food and grocery, have been shut across the country. Such stores have reported an 80% to 100% reduction in sales, whereas the food/grocery stores have been restricted to sell non-essential items, slashing off their higher profit margins.

Indian retailers used to do a daily business of 15000 crores, but since the world has been shut, there has been a huge loss of over 15.5 trillion, which is done by 7 crore retailers. This forced 1.5 crore traders to shut down permanently. The Indian economy was already swinging along with the recession, on that, this pandemic acted like a cyclone, only lasting much longer than expected.

But as they say, there is always sunshine after the darkness, even if the darkness is longer, thus the Retail Industry came to grips with recovery in its sales rate as the unlock procedures have started in the country.


Such scenarios can be categorized into three phases:-

  1. High- From March to June, they faced long term disruption.
  2. Medium- During July to mid-September, they faced medium-term disruption.
  3. Low- From mid-September, they are facing low disruption.



Well, where there is a risk, managing the risk and recovering from it evolves slowly and steadily. Same way, retailers are again shaping their edges to fit in the new normal design.

  • Retailers realized the importance of Omnichannel and customer experience. They are stressing on being available wherever the customer is and the New features of Online/offline on click delivery or collect at home with a planned monthly shopping list are leading the way.
  • Connecting with e-commerce channels braced both the retail as well as the e-commerce industry.
  • The pandemic has paced up the digitalization shift for the retail players to control the crisis by investing and selecting correct technologies, like AI, VR, ML, etc, which will ease the online shopping procedures and can give in-store feeling to the customers, such as virtual trial rooms and personalized digital communication.

The pandemic required the retailers to make sacrifices, protect employees, stay available to the customers much more than they ever needed to be. And the retail industry didn’t fail our hopes, it struggled and is still struggling with light recoveries but to awe; even, throughout the hard times, we had all the necessary supplies at our homes.


By Sanandita Mukherjee and Suraparaju Deepthi

PGDRM Batch July 2020-21

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