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Restarting retail - 18/5/2020

Published: 18th May 2020
Author: Tony Dickson - S&V Editor
Baxter's: A good start, now back to 'normal'
Vanderbijlpark, Gauteng, SA – The first week was very busy, from Monday to Friday. Now it has slowed down to more-or-less what it was in March.
       Observing the regulations has been straightforward because I don't get lots of people coming to the store at the same time. We've been sanitizing their hands when they arrive, and everyone has been wearing masks. - Salim Tatel, member. Men's outfitter and men's and women's footwear. 1 store.
Bachelors Classic: 'Arrogant' customers a problem
Umhlanga, KZN, SA – This business is situated in a hotel complex, and the hotels haven't yet re-opened. I have, but business has been slow...on one day, I got a customer who spent R7000, but for the next 4 days I sold nothing.
       Following the sanitizing and distancing rules hasn't been difficult, but I have had problems with some arrogant shoppers who behave as if the rules don't apply to them, and I have had to ask them to leave.
       I've had to cancel some orders, which has really upset the suppliers, most of whom are selling imported items and who are taking a hiding. I expect to be in a position to re-order in 3 or 4 months' time, but it's going to be a slow process. - Suresh Parekh, member. Men's outfitter, 1 store.
Crossover: Rentals situation being resolved
Johannesburg, Gauteng, SA – The first week was good, but since then it has slowed down to below the levels of trading in March.
       Fortunately I'm not sitting on a lot of stock, and I haven't had to cancel any orders.
       Also, we have come to an arrangement with almost all our landlords. They've let us off 100% of April rentals, and for May, that varies between 50% and 75%. We're still talking to a couple of them. - Hashim Ismail, member. Mini-chain, 12 stores.
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