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Impact Of COVID-19 On Retail Industry And Supply Chain In India
The entire country is facing a situation where everyone is recommended to stay at home to curb the spread of coronavirus. The Indian Government has requested people to avoid human contact and maintain social distancing.
A nationwide lockdown was imposed, due to which businesses and retail sectors have been most impacted. The economy is at stake as most of the offices and production companies are shut. Companies ready with products for sale are unable to send it to the retailer because of the weak supply chain.
Numerous reports suggest that the lockdown is going to impact consumer behaviour, retail stores, product demand, logistics, and more. It seems that the growth expected by the companies in 2020 is going to be affected by COVID-19.
To know more about the impact of the COVID-19 on the retail sector of India, we had an email interaction with Vikram Kumar, Founder and CEO of Letstrack.
In his response to COVID-19, Vikram stated that "COVID 19 has no doubt created a significant disruption in the consumer's purchasing power and has influenced the shopping habits of the individuals. The impact on the businesses and economy is crystal clear, the face of the supply chain is the retailer and due to the complete lockdown, the chain is broken into a lot of pieces."
He also added that the small-scale retailer who don't deal with essential goods are going to suffer a lot. Vikram suggested that banks and Government should come up with various policies to help small and medium scale enterprises.
"The dent occurred by lockdown during COVID-19 is getting deeper day by day in the offline sales channel, the retailers should strive to maintain a higher level of e-commerce sales to mitigate the impact of store closures," he added further.
In a telephonic conversation with Kartik Bakshi, Country Manager of Belkin India, to know how accessories market is responding to the pandemic. Kartik told me, "due to virus spreading initially in China, the market across all the industries are disrupted. I think the technology market took a huge hit on most of the products and solution, especially hardware solution took a huge hit because China is a major electronics supplier across the world. Once they were not able to supply for a few weeks, the whole supply chain gets affected."
Kartik also shared that most of the major companies usually keep stock in the inventory for up to 3 to 4 months, but stocks are not the problem here. The problem is that retail stores are non-operational, which plays a major role in sales. However, some online stores are working, but they are restricted to sell essential items only.
"Meanwhile, the number of people who are buying routers and networking products witnessed a hike, because of the number of people being at home is increased as they are working from home. So there's a great demand for networking products like routers and mesh routers," he added.
He also added that the company is expecting to resume the business soon. He shared that the supply chain of the company has been disrupted due to the lockdown and once everything gets back to normal Belkin will start shipping products from China and Vietnam. He also stated that 2020 would be only for stabilization and 2021 will be a big focus on growth.