18 August 2020
The Weekly

Retail stores were shut for a good part of the June quarter because of the covid-19 lockdown. Naturally, this led to substantial drying up of revenues of retail firms. Shoppers Stop’s revenues dropped as much as 94% during the period. The loss at earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (Ebitda) was Rs102 crore. Employee costs fell by about 10% and other expenditure by 67%. The company accounted rent concessions worth about Rs100 crore in other income. That helped curtail net loss to some extent, which eventually came in at Rs115 crore. The company expects cost cutting initiatives to reduce costs by about Rs450 crore in financial year 2021. Recovery for the retail sector is expected to be slow as consumers limit their visits to shopping malls for fear of contracting the virus. With income levels falling, discretionary spending is expected to be curbed.