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10/04/2021 11:30am

Retailers seek centralised framework for smooth retail ops

image Retailers seek centralised framework for smooth retail ops

New Delhi, Apr 10 (KNN) As the states have started imposing some form of restrictions to tackle the rising COVID-19 cases, the Retailers Association of India (RAI) has called for a centralised framework which will allow the smooth operations of all retail formats across various states.

The retailers' body is of the view that shutting down non-essential retail and malls is not the solution. Instead, there is an urgent need for stricter surveillance to ensure that all rules with regards to safety & hygiene and social distancing norms are being followed by one and all.

“We need a centralised framework that allows for the non-discriminatory operations of all formats of retail and time-bound resolutions. Punish those who are defaulting the safety norms, take strict action. Complete shutting down of retail, other than essentials, will not solve any problem. Businesses are struggling again, while millions of jobs are at stake,” said  Kumar Rajagopalan, CEO, RAI on Friday.

What will help ‘break the chain’ is avoiding crowding and following safety and social distancing protocols, which the modern retail industry has been diligently following since the start of the pandemic last year, RAI said.

Last year, as the surge of the pandemic lead to a complete lockdown in India, RAI had put in place specific SOPs to be followed by different categories of retail including footwear, apparel, food and grocery, beauty and wellness, CDIT, Quick Service Restaurants (QSRs), jewellery and footwear as well as for Malls to follow when opening and operating physical stores. These SOPs include protocols addressing each and every aspect of efficient and safe functioning of offline stores. The SOPs have been based on a broad framework of SOPs that have been approved by the Indian Medical Association (IMA) and are in sync with the guidelines prescribed by the Government of India.

Retail businesses across India have been successfully following these SOPs and hence should be allowed to operate with strict surveillance, it claimed.

RAI also said that the entire retail industry including non-essential retail is keen on joining the war against COVID-19 by following social distancing protocols and safety measures.

''Removing roadblocks at the local level will not only help curb the spread but will also help save millions of livelihoods and help revive the economy,'' RAI said.


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