COVID-19 has not just taken a toll on people contracting the virus, it has impacted businesses, livelihoods and the way humans interact with one another throwing up challenges that even those best-prepared could not have anticipated. While the lockdowns helped contain the spread of the virus and bought time to scale up the medical infrastructure, the restrictions need to be lifted slowly to spur economic activity, which has taken a big hit.
People still need most of the products and services, and until there’s a cure, businesses will have to adapt and adopt – to new regulations, ways of functioning that ensure safety of their employees as well as consumers, and also spot new opportunities amid this pandemic. And this assumes great significance for malls as they aren’t just spaces for shopping; they offer an escape from confines of urban homes, a place for people to mingle and interact, with a plethora of food, entertainment options and other services.
The New Norms
Once all malls resume operations, it would be mandatory for them, just like many other businesses and public spaces, to adhere to certain hygiene and safety norms. This is likely to put pressure on costs as well. Apart from that, malls and retailers will have to update their business models, too, in line with changing demand patterns and consumer behaviour. And to achieve all that without losing market share in a highly dynamic environment. They may even have to postpone expansion plans.
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