Sri Lanka retailers appeal for 50-pct rent cut as most shops closed

RETAIL LOCKDOWN: Most of Sri Lanka’s shops have remained closed for almost two months.

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka Retailers’ Association (SLRA) which represents clothing, consumer durables, footwear, fashion and jewellery as well as fast moving consumer goods, have appealed from landlords to cut their rents in half.

“The ongoing Lockdown has drastically limited all retailers’ ability to operate their respective outlets,” SLRA President Sidath Kodikara said in an appeal.

“Thus, resulting in more than an 85 percent drop in revenues across all retail establishments and sectors.

“This significant drop in revenue has resulted in losses for all retailers; and currently all our membership is struggling to stay afloat.”

Most clothing and electronic shops as well as restaurants have been closed for almost two months in the Western province, though in other areas, they have opened sporadically.

Only grocery shops which are doing delivery have been able to get sales. Some pharmacies are open.

“We make this request fully understanding the impact this may have on landlords or lessors,” Kodikara said.

“However, this is an urgent need for retail industry -an industry which employs more than 15 percent of the work force.”

SLRA now represents FMCG; Clothing, Fashion &Jewelry; Shelter & Housing; Household & Consumer Durables; Footwear & Accessories; E-Commerce; Mobility; Entertainment, Restaurant and QSR; Healthcare & Wellness. (Colombo/May06/2020)

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