Mumbai's civic body Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has stepped up efforts to tackle the COVID-19 surge as the city witnesses a record addition of cases. The plan is to conduct random antigen tests at malls for those without a COVID-19 negative report.
In an interview to CNBC-TV18, Rajendra Kalkar, whole-time director of Phoenix Mills; Anjan Chatterjee, CMD of Speciality Restaurants; and Anurag Katriar, president of National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI), spoke at length about how all this is going to impact the footfall in malls.
Chatterjee said the implementation of the restrictions is not 100 percent yet and also do not think there will be a full lockdown. “The implementation is not 100 percent as yet but it is a deterrent. However, the best part is it will not be as bad as what used to be earlier. We know how to handle COVID-19, India has learned this. There is a medical fraternity who is knowledgeable now, vaccination happening, reassurance coming in. I think this will be fluctuating for sure but it will not be as bad as what we had seen earlier,” he said.
Meanwhile, NRAI’s Katriar said that footfall in restaurants have reduced over the last week. However, downturn in consumption is not significant yet. “We are getting caught too much into rapid antigen test and other things. At the end of the day, I believe, it’s about exercising and observing the COVID-19 protocols and to ensure that it’s a joint responsibility of the state, businesses and consumers as well,” he said.
Talking about business, Phoenix Mills’ Kalkar said that Q3 bought great sales for all the malls and Q4 has been just as good. He also said that Q4 sales at the malls are close to last year's levels.
For entire discussion, watch the video