Retail shops and eateries faces huge loss amidst the lockdown and would face more adversities after the lockdown is over

The retailers and restaurant owners are invoking force majeure clause and have sought waivers of rental pay till May amid the lockdown. India’s largest restaurant chains and retailers like McDonalds, Domino’s pizza, Specialty Restaurant, Reliance Retail, Future Group and many more have been shut up and are facing huge loss during this lockdown. The concerned parties have said that they have zero revenue in the current term and drop of 50% revenue for several months even after the lockdown.

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Force majeure refers to the rare and unexpected events which are not in control of any individual or, beyond the control of any party which was supposed to fulfil the contract say, ‘act of god’. The Force majeure clause can only be invoked if it is mentioned in the original contract prior to the deal.

During the whole crisis the Rs 4.2 lakh crore restaurant industries which employs approx seven million people is staring at closed stores, job losses, the deterioration of profits and major loss during this whole lockdown and social distancing thing. The support from owners is very necessary during this time, it is very difficult to maintain cash flow and staff salaries and due to this they have asked the owners for seeking waiver of lease rent from March till May 2020. Some malls have already announced rent waivers. These include Lulu Mall in Kochi; Forum Mall in Mangalore, Mysore, Chennai, and Hyderabad; and Xperia in Mumbai while, Spokespersons for Reliance Retail, Future Group, Spencer’s Retail and Jubilant FoodWorks declined to comment on the matter. Some officials have been discussing the problem with their business partners and have assured to find a middle ground and give the best mutual decision while, some of the officials have stated that it would be pre-mature to jump to any conclusion as we don’t know how much time it will take to deal with this problem.

Amid this lockdown the delivery of pharmaceuticals, food items, and other essential items are allowed. According to the orders shops including ration shops dealing with food, grocery, fruits and vegetables, dairy and milk booths, meat and fish, animal fodder will remain open. The authorities will provide home deliveries to reduce the movement of individuals out of their houses to reduce the spread. The E-commerce portal like Amazon has requested the authorities to let them deliver essential items to their customers during the lockdown. PM Narendra Modi and HM Amit Shah have assured that there will be no shortage of essential items during lockdown, people have to stay indoors and no panic buying, the central and state government will take care of all the essentials.

While the government has allowed the delivery of medicines, food and essential items through E-commerce portals the companies like Amazon India, Grofers and Big basket have been facing problems in delivering goods to their customers. The online platforms have seen rise in the orders including all kind of items due to the COVID-19 spread and the enforced lockdown and the companies are trying best to fulfil the demands in time but due to government interventions and inter-state transport movement there is problem in delivery. Some of the E-commerce portals have stopped their services and will resume after the permissions from the local authorities while their workers are continuously working to deliver the essential items to the customers.

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