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Nagpur businessman and owner at apparel store Brands Republic with three stores in city - Sandeep Narula - suggested re-opening of clothing stores in lockdown 4.0. Read what Sandeep has to say about the same.
"I completely in sync with the government’s decision to impose lockdown, which has further been extended in Maharashtra till May 31 but sadly the repercussions of lockdown are also going to have an adverse impact on livelihoods and economy.
We at Brands Republic ensure we give our staff the best possible facilities and a decent salary, as we feel they’re our extended family. I’m afraid to say that since we’re heading to bad times vis-à-vis COVID-19, we request our government to kindly consider re-opening of garment stores in the city with the strictest norms so that we can ensure our business gets back to normal and also are able to contribute in restoring livelihoods for our staff.
We don’t want to lay off our employees, as they are the most integral part of our company; but if we have no income and the same situation of lockdown persists, we’ll be left with no other option than laying them off, which will create further unemployment in the city and guilt in our minds.Also read: COVID-19: NMC extends lockdown till May 31 | Here’s what’s allowed and not allowed
Though buying of apparels won’t be the topmost priority during and post lockdown for most, still many would consider it an essential buying. New born kids need new clothes every month, pregnant women need different clothing sizes every two months, men who mostly wear shirts now need comfortable shorts and t-shirts to beat summers; people who are getting married in lockdown too need new clothes.
Several cities in our country have given permission to retailers to open garment stores provided they follow the norms set by the civic body. One such example is Maharashtra’s Pune; a city that has higher COVID-19 cases compared to Nagpur but it has still allowed garment retailers to re-open their stores on alternate days.
I feel Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) should also consider the re-opening of garment retail shops (be it standalone) and ensure owners strictly follow social distancing, undertake mass sanitisation of shops at regular intervals, use alcohol-based sanitisers, wear facemasks and surgical gloves. If need be, retailers can altogether skip usage of changing rooms by disallowing trial of garments until there’s a steep decline in COVID-19 cases in the city. Recently, authorities permitted the re-opening of liquor shops in the district that fortunately led to a good source of revenue for the government. Any sale is going to contribute to our unfortunately dwindling economy."