Sri Lankan retailers optimistic of lesser impact on retail sector
Sri Lankan retailers optimistic of lesser impact on retail sector during latest Covid 19 lockdown

Sri Lankan retailers optimistic of lesser impact on retail sector during latest Covid 19 lockdown

Local retailers in Sri Lanka are reportedly optimistic that the current outbreak of Covid-19 will have less of a negative impact on the retail sector than the previous seven-week lockdown, according to the Sri Lanka Retailers’ Association (SLRA).

Speaking to The Sunday Morning Business, SLRA Founder Chairman Hussain Sadique has stated that this time around, the government of Sri Lanka is better equipped to handle the outbreak, and since there is no community spread, retailers expect to come out of it in around two weeks. 

“We think that two weeks is enough time for the Government to ensure public safety. Since there is no community spread, the Government will do PCR tests to find the positive cases and then isolate them. Therefore, this will not be as bad as the last one or take as long to come out of.” 

However, Sadique has explained that there will be an impact to retailers selling nonessential products, since the Government and people will be prioritising safety over nonessentials. Despite this, he has stated they have had no discussions with the Government, as they have already been given flexibility to engage in scaled-down manufacturing.

The SLRA is the largest retail network in the country with membership of leading companies from diverse sectors in the retail industry and was incorporated as a company limited by guarantee in 2016, and operates under the aegis of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC).

Speaking to The Sunday Morning Business, Sadique has stated that during the last lockdown, retail activity was seen mainly in the groceries and pharmaceutical areas, but this time, they are expecting performance across all sectors of the retail industry. 

Sadique has also explained that Sri Lanka is not in a sufficient financially stable position to afford another lockdown.

 “The Government is prepared in terms of healthcare and safety measures as they were expecting another wave. So hopefully, this cluster too will be controlled.” 

OSL take:

Sri Lanka’s retail sector is definitely showing resilience in the face of the global Covid 19 pandemic. The change to new business platforms by the local retail sector while opening up new business/investment opportunities for ICT and digital infrastructure development companies to set up the required platforms. Therefore, Sri Lanka’s retail sector has posed business opportunities that could also be extended to other economic sectors as well. 

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Article Code : VBS/AT/10112020/Z_4

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