SUNBIZ

Retailers More Prepared than Before: Jitesh Patel

There is an increased awareness and preparation to face the second wave of COVID-19, says Suva Retailers Association president, Jitesh Patel. Speaking to SunBiz, he said while all retail shops
26 Apr 2021 11:39
Retailers More Prepared than Before: Jitesh Patel
Suva Central Business District on April 25, 2021.

There is an increased awareness and preparation to face the second wave of COVID-19, says Suva Retailers Association president, Jitesh Patel.

Speaking to SunBiz, he said while all retail shops had been affected at the onset of virus outbreak, businesses were now more prepared after experiencing the first lockdown.

“The Association, in solidarity, is raising awareness regarding the pandemic by printing out informational posters and giving it to the retailers, visiting shops, and overlooking practices, keeping registration books to keep a tab on customers and more,” he said.

“We were improving post the first lockdown, and then suddenly, we took a dive down again. But this time, we have experience.

“We expect business to be low for a couple of weeks, as less people are coming to the cities, with Government advisories being taken heed of.”

He highlighted how retailers work out strategies that would enable to them to retain their staff, instead of letting employees go.

“Times are hard, and everyone needs to be able to provide food for their families.”

Mr Patel said 150 retail shops are part of the association, of which all have been affected by the lockdown.

“I would expect reduced opening hours of shops as well because of reduced activity.”

Empty Suva Central Business District on April 25, 2021. Photo: Leon Lord

Empty Suva Central Business District on April 25, 2021. Photo: Leon Lord

Association efforts
Mr Patel said Suva Retailers Association had partnered with the Ministry of Health to distribute food packs to areas in lock down in Suva.

“The Association prepared food packs which consists of essential groceries and sought Ministry of Health’s assistance to deliver these food packs to the affected areas.

“The packs would last the families two weeks,” he said.

100 food packs were distributed to families in areas of lockdown yesterday.

He said the Association was also committed to provide around 100 essential packs to frontline workers.

“We have distributed some today, and we will continue to distribute the packs throughout the week.”

Mr Patel has encouraged other organisations to come on board to assist the affected population. “We all need to be there for each other during these trying times.”

Suva Bus Stand on April 25, 2021. Photo: Leon Lord.

Suva Bus Stand on April 25, 2021. Photo: Leon Lord.

 

Feedback: shreya.kumar@fijisun.com.fj



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