Retailers on Tuesday assured there is enough inventory to meet the demand during the extended lockdown period, stating they had stocked up in anticipation of such a move from the government to curb the spread of coronavirus pandemic.
According to a PTI report: Future Retail, V-Mart along with wholesale players — Lots Wholesale Solutions and Metro Cash & Carry India — said they have been constantly monitoring the dynamic situation in order to ensure there were no supply disruptions of essential items and groceries.
“Based on sales projections, we have worked with suppliers to ensure that we have healthy stock availability at LOTS for our customers. Our supply chain management is flexible and is constantly evolving as per the rapidly changing scenario,” Tanit Chearavanont, Managing Director, LOTS Wholesale Solutions told PTI.
He said the company has been constantly monitoring the situation and have put certain measures in place in anticipation of the lockdown extension.
“All three stores have leveraged the consumption data and identified patterns to project demand for day-to-day goods in the coming days,” Chearavanont further told PTI.
Additionally, LOTS has also emphasised on regular “shelf replenishment and maximise stock visibility” to aid customers to reduce their shopping time in its stores, he added.
Similarly, Future Retail, which runs retail chain in several formats including Big Bazar and EasyDay Club, said it has also anticipated the extension and was planning for availability of products accordingly.
“We had already anticipated it and were prepared for such an extension. We were planning our supply chain accordingly to meet the essential requirement of the people,” Future Retail Spokesperson told PTI.
Though the company is still facing problems in stocking goods due to several constraints and bottleneck in the supply chain, it is able to maintain inventory for its buyers, the spokesperson said.
Wholesale player Metro Cash & Carry said it is prioritising on maintaining a seamless supply chain system so that there is no shortage of food and grocery during the extended lockdown period.
“We are focusing all our efforts in serving the nation by ensuring Kiranas who provide 90 percent of our daily essentials have an access to all necessary products. We are prioritising on maintaining a seamless supply chain system so that there is no shortage of food and grocery.
“At this point of time, as a wholesaler, adequate supply of essentials coupled with safety and hygiene of customers and employees is of utmost importance for us,” Arvind Mediratta, MD & CEO, Metro Cash & Carry India was quoted by PTI as saying.
Commenting on the plans charted by the company for the extended period of the lockdown, Mediratta told PTI, “In terms of preparing further ahead- we are ensuring three important aspects of our business are being taken care of — employees, customers and store supplies”.
V-Mart, which operates mainly in tier-II and III cities, said it had also sensed the extension of the Lockdown period and was working in that direction.
However, the company also asked the government to help the retail industry as the entire industry is under pressure and has not adequate cash flow because the stores are not operating.
“The Prime Minister has also asked to take care of the employees and pay them full salary but the retail industry is having the problem of cash flow. It would be difficult to support, if the government does not come out with some relief and support measures,” Lalit Agarwal, CMD, V-Mart Retail told PTI.
According to him, the government should compensate retail industry expenses as all the retailers are facing problems on this.
“All the retailers are under tremendous pressure. The government should also look at this sector as retailers are on a very thin line of cash flow. Retail industry also supports employees of vendors and several manufacturers,” he further told PTI.
The Prime Minister on Tuesday announced the extension of lockdown till May 3. India is presently going through an unprecedented complete lockdown from March 25 to prevent the spread of the virus.