After the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) allowed home delivery of essential items, several retail stores in the city have come up with new ways to resume their businesses amid the Covid-19 lockdown.
A branded store in an Ahmedabad mall has launched a “Ramadan shopping festival”, four days before Eid-ul-Fitr, and is reaching out to customers offering “personalised service” including delivery at doorstep.
An ethnic store run by women selling women’s garments has launched a WhatsApp group to connect to customers and an optical accessory store, which has two shops, is opening each of them on alternate days going by the odd-even formula of the AMC.
While the Ahmedabad One Mall has not opened during the lockdown, its sales staff reached out to customers, asking them to place an order online and send a screenshot of the purchase, which the personnel would follow up and have the item delivered at the doorstep.
Another retail brand with multiple stores in Ahmedabad was reaching out with offers of “safe delivery at doorstep”.
“We are trying to maintain the personal touch with our customers. Since there are no physical visits at present, we are calling them, assisting them through online purchase and informing them about different offers including Ramadan and Eid ranging from 10-70 per cent discounts and taking their feedback too about the experience,” said Vijay Singh, store operations manager of Shoppers Stop in Ahmedabad.
The store staff is also addressing customers’ concerns regarding safety measures over phone calls. However, they are yet to come out with a fresh guideline on return and exchange, Singh added.
Hansiba, a handicraft brand owned and managed by SEWA Trade Facilitation Centre (STFC) in Ahmedabad, is also contacting its customers through various digital platforms now.
Sheth Opticals is opening its two stores in different parts of the city on alternate days and asking customers to take prior appointments to avoid the rush.
Proprietor of the store Jishnu Sheth told The Indian Express, “While our store in Navrangpura is open on odd dates, the one in Prahladnagar is open on even dates from 9 am till 4 pm, which we have informed all out customers in advance. Also, we are encouraging customers to visit after taking an appointment to avoid rush at these stores. We are reaching out to all our customers who contacted us during lockdown and giving them different time slots to visit the stores”.
At the retail clothing stores, sources said they were yet to work out a procedure for using trial rooms when stores would eventually open.
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