Retailers hit by low employee attendance even as customers line up
While shoppers swelled in numbers, low staff strength and transportation issues at warehouses and distribution centres caused hiccups
March 26, 2020 / 10:14 AM IST
Grocery stores and supermarkets providing essential items during the coronavirus-led lockdown are facing another problem besides disruption in supply – shortage of staff, Mint reported.
More Retail said staff strength is 50 to 60 percent across stores. The FMCG and groceries retailer operates 640 supermarkets, of which 80 percent functioned on March 25, CEO Mohit Kampani told the paper. While shoppers swelled in numbers, low staff strength and transportation issues at warehouses and distribution centres caused hiccups, he added.
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A spokesperson for DMart (Avenue Supermarts), which operates 206 stores country-wide, told the paper they have 'sufficient stock', but staff strength in some cities has reduced by 80-90 percent. Certain cities have also told retailers to operate for only two-to-three hours, the report added.
Sadashiv Nayak, CEO of Big Bazaar, told the paper that staff could not reach the stores on March 25 and “barriers exist when it comes to movement of vehicles or even manpower.” He said they are in “talks with authorities to ensure swift functioning” and things are improving as local authorities step in to help out.
Metro Cash & Carry India said eight of their 27 stores did not operate and the ones that did had low staff numbers. “We saw dwindling attendance today (March 26) morning,” MD & CEO Arvind Mediratta told the paper.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a 21-day lockdown from midnight of March 24, but groceries and food are among the essential items allowed to function. Lack of clarity and overzealous policing, besides fear has impacted movement so much so that stores selling essential items are running short-staffed.