In order to cope with the effects of the pandemic induced lockdown in 2020, the Karnataka government has allowed all shops and commercial establishments with 10 or more employees to operate 24×7. Here’s what stakeholders have to say about the move…

More employment and opportunities
President of Bangalore Hoteliers Association, PC Rao welcomes the decision as it would mean more employment opportunities. “There would be more jobs and employment not only in hotels but malls, showrooms and supermarket chains too. But other facilities should also be open just like they are in the morning. Another benefit is that people can bypass the rush and can make a relaxed purchase.”

Does the move benefit all businesses?
Trade activist Sajjan Raj Mehta feels that besides small traders with less than 10 employees, even some bigger businesses would not benefit from this step. “Traders with lesser than 10 staff members get no benefit and for bigger businesses, operational expenses would increase as well. So it would not be a profitable move for businesses whose turnover is less than `5 crore. Instead the government should just allow markets to function during their regular timings without any interference. Different pockets are dependent on different kinds of customers and some of those would anyway not walk in post 10 pm to make a purchase.”
Irfan Noor, secretary of Church Street Occupants Association says that those in the F&B industry and bigger establishments may benefit from the move. “I don’t know how many traders would benefit from it. People may step out post midnight for food and drinks, but not many will go shopping at 3 am or 4 am.”

Success depends on consumer response
The success of this move depends on planning by the authorities and stakeholders, says Shashie Kumar S, COO, Retail, of a brand which is associated with a city mall. “A lot depends on the response from consumers. The current buying pattern shows that they prefer not to delay their shopping to late evenings unless it is a special occasion or a festival. The flipside is additional resources like power, fuel and water, etc. which will be needed to keep a mall operational 24×7,” he says.





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