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Restricted timings dent big retail sector sales by 30-40pc

July 05, 2022

LAHORE: The decision of closing shops in the malls earlier, while allowing other businesses like restaurants, cinemas, takeaway outlets, cafés to stay open till 11:30, is conserving little power and causing huge losses to the businesses, latest data released by the big retail sector revealed on Monday.

According to the data collected from different multi-purpose shopping malls of Lahore, Karachi, Islamabad, Sialkot, Hyderabad and others showed maximum 10-15percent reduction in power consumption of these malls after closing of the retail shops in them.

The data gathered from the Chainstore Association of Pakistan (CAP) revealed that almost 30-40 percent sales dropped due to earlier closure of the shops. According to hourly customer footfall data, more than 25-30 percent of customers enter malls between 9:00pm to 12:00am in the branded stores. The sales of the branded stores have declined in the same ratio.

The hourly sales of the brands showed almost 20-30 percent sales during the last three hours of the business of the different brands. However, these sales have now declined since the implementation of the government’s power conservation plan.

The data showed that the highest sales and footfall timings of the brands are 8-11pm. During these hours, almost 35 percent and above sales and above 33 percent of footfall are recorded.

The impact of forced one-day/week closure of businesses is also detrimental for the retail sector, according to the findings of the CAP data, which showed the sales on Sunday ranged between 15-20 percent and various brands’ footfalls vary 12 percent to 20 percent. However, by keeping the businesses closed on Sunday, this trade is lost, which will also impact the national exchequer.

The managers of big known malls in Lahore, Karachi, and Islamabad said that people come to shop, eat at the food courts, and watch movies at the cinemas in the malls. “The air conditioning of the shops is suspended after 9:00pm but the mall cannot suspend it as light and air conditioning in common areas was required because of the presence of customers. This measure has reduced the power consumption by 10-15 percent maximum.”

However, the managers of Hyderabad and Sialkot (Tire-II cities) shopping malls pointed out that their cost of power increased due to power outages mainly in these hours (9:00pm-12:00am).

“People rush to the shopping malls during the loadshedding hours and we are compelled to maintain air conditioning through generators, which run on high-priced diesel,” they argued. CAP Chairman Tariq Mehboob talking to The News said that the government would face almost 30-40 percent revenue loss as result of this policy. “The integrated retail sector is adversely affected with this decision of the government as almost 65 percent restrictions are imposed on this sector,” Mehboob said. —