Tamil Nadu: Retail Association welcomes extension of relaxation in timings for shops

Order allowing shops, malls and restaurants for 24 hours extended by another three years

June 09, 2022 09:31 pm | Updated June 10, 2022 03:04 pm IST - CHENNAI

Retailers say it does not make sense to keep the shops open till late in the night as the business has been poor.

Retailers say it does not make sense to keep the shops open till late in the night as the business has been poor. | Photo Credit: R. RAGU

The Retail Association of India (RAI) has welcomed the State government’s order allowing shops, malls and restaurants to stay open round the clock for another three years. The State government on June 2 issued an order allowing shops that operate with 10 or more employees to remain open round-the-clock with effect from June 5. In 2019, the State government had permitted shops and establishments to operate 24x7 for three years.

Kumar Rajagopalan, CEO, Retailers Association of India, said: “The provision of operating 24x7 is a win-win situation for consumers, businesses and the government. This step will not only help the retail industry recover faster from the loss of business due to the pandemic, but also allows the consumers the flexibility to shop at their convenience. Opening of retail 24x7 will give a boost to tourism in the State and will help create jobs”.

But since this announcement was first made not many retailers opted to keep the shops open at night. Retailers pointed out that the market in Chennai was very different unlike Bengaluru or Mumbai. Barring restaurants and a few retail shops attached to petrol pumps not many shops opened their shutters post 11 p.m. The Managing Director of a prominent mall in the city said that in 2019, a few shops remained open until people got out of the last show from the cinemas but there was no sales and it made no business sense, he said.

The association has been working with other State governments to improve the ease of doing business and has been pursuing various departments to adopt the State Retail Trade Policy and allow retailers to operate 24x7 as had been done in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Haryana. The retail business in India, which is estimated to be $854 billion, continues to be one of the country’s largest industries and makes up for over 10% of the GDP.

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