COVID-19: Impact On Retail
Effects of COVID-19 have been devastating for a whole spectrum of businesses. It has now been 24 days since the announcement of the State of Emergency in Georgia, the end of lockdown however is not yet in sight. According to health professionals, we are only just entering the critical phase of contagion and the government is bracing to effectively manage the rising number of cases.
Containment measures –countrywide lockdowns, ban on gatherings larger than three people, social distancing guidelines, etc. -have been particularly devastating for service sectors. One of the first to feel the detrimental effects of COVID-19 was retail. Liquidity issues, current and future supply chain disruptions, inability to pay rent and salaries and the subsequent possibility of rising unemployment in the sector are some of the problems looming over the sector. Meanwhile, lack of clear communication with landlords and the absence of decisive relief measures from the government have further exacerbated the pervasive sense of insecurity among the retailers.
Cushman & Wakefield Georgia interviewed representatives of major retail groups operating in Georgia as well as representatives of the largest shopping centers in Tbilisi to gauge their perspectives on the ongoing crisis. Using purposive sampling, we selected eight primary retailers and five shopping centers from the sampling frame and conducted interviews using a semi-structured approach. The surveyed group of retailers together represent 55 brands on the Georgian market with a cumulative presence of 224 stores countrywide. All participants chose to remain anonymous. The main findings are summarized in this report. To learn more download the publication below.