Gujjars’ protest hampers business of retail; supply chain disrupted

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Retailers and mall operators are witnessing major business losses due to ongoing protests by Gujjar community.

Expected chaos due to protests is not only holding back shoppers from visiting marketplaces, but have also hampered the supplies as connecting roads and rail routes to the capital have been blocked by the protesters.

Speaking to Indiaretailing, R Subramanian, MD, Subhiksha, said: “The agitations have resulted in three to five per cent fall in our daily sales. The supply chain has been seriously affected as we have to transport goods on a daily basis, and the agitation is hampering the movement. If the situation continues, the losses may go up by 10 to 20 per cent.”

Reliance, too, is not able to get its goods transported out of the NCR and is forced to source from local vendors, probably at higher price. According to the company’s spokesperson, “We are getting the products outsourced from our local sources, but this is not a long-term solution. If protests go on for more days, we will be incurring major losses.”

Big Apple, a fruit and vegetable retailing chain, is also incurring losses as the seasonal fruits that are sourced from other states are not being transported. According to a company official, the trucks carrying the seasonal fruits are stuck on the highway. However, the company has managed to source vegetables from the local market.

The daily supplies of vegetables, fruits, grains and pulses in NCR are estimated to be worth between Rs 1,500 crore and Rs 2,000 crore. All these are transported from Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana, through highways that are blocked by the Gujjars.

Malls in the NCR are also witnessing lesser footfalls. According to a DLF spokesperson, “The footfalls at our malls have seen a slump due to the protests. If the situation remains the same, retailers at malls will be incurring losses.”

Today, the Centre had sent advisories to the neighbouring states of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Delhi asking them to take precautionary measures, including patrolling in vulnerable areas on the highways.

– Satrajit Sen

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