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COVID-19 lockdown: DMart hands out time coupons, keeps 24-hour outlets open to avoid rush

Customers are also happy as they do not have to wait in long queues for buying essentials under the scorching heat

April 16, 2020 / 02:20 PM IST
 
 
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Avenue Supermarts-owned retail chain DMart has decided to keep selective outlets open for 24 hours.

Further, to avoid rush and to maintain social distancing, DMart has started handing out coupons of specific timings to customers.

For instance, if you go at 10 pm, a coupon for 3 am is handed out, if you go at 11 pm, a coupon for 4 am is given.

Customers are also happy as they do not have to wait in long queues for buying essentials under the scorching heat.

“When I used to go in the morning, once I had to wait for one-and-half-hours under the sun. This coupon system is good. I was given 2 am and there were just two people in the queue and I could go in immediately and buy,” said Bhushan Mane, a resident of Andher -i who visited Sahar Road’s DMart outlet in Mumbai.

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Rohit Pal, who is a customer of Bandra said, “As long as we are getting essentials and we do not have to stand in long queues, we do not mind coming at 3 am or 4 am.”

This move was decided after it shut 50 percent of its outlets due to the lockdown and COVID-19 restrictions imposed by local authorities.

When Moneycontrol reached out to DMar, it refused to comment.

However, in a separate statement to exchanges, Avenue Supermarts said, ”Nearly 50 percent of our stores remain closed for operations based on a directive by the local authorities.”

The company is retailing only essential items from the operating stores and average footfall is "significantly lower than usual".

DMart also commenced e-commerce home delivery and bulk deliveries to large housing complexes across the majority of its stores during April.

DMart is an 18-year-old company multi-story hypermarket chain. Currently, DMart operates in 206 stores country-wide and has sufficient stock. But, the staff strength in some cities has reduced by 80-90 percent.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a 21-day lockdown from midnight of March 24, but essential items like groceries were allowed to function.

A lack of clarity and overzealous policing besides fear has impacted movement so much so that stores selling essential items are running short-staffed.
Himadri Buch
first published: Apr 16, 2020 02:20 pm

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