‘On verge of collapse:’ Retailers plead for faster vaccine rollout


By: BusinessWorld

RETAILERS are asking for expedited vaccine deliveries as the industry is running out of cash reserves after three major lockdowns since March 2020.

“The retail industry — stores, fastfood and restaurants — are on a verge of collapse,” Philippine Retailers Association Vice-Chairman Roberto S. Claudio said in an e-mail on Saturday. “Retailers have lost 85-90% of our pre-pandemic levels.”

Business and government officials have been proposing vaccine “bubbles” or sectors where people vaccinated against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) can move freely.

But Mr. Claudio said the lockdowns and minimal customer foot traffic have depleted cash reserves, noting that online sales have accounted for just 8-15% of total store revenue.

“The answer to this problem is not the gamut of selecting on who can enter our establishments (vaccinated or not, 10% or 30% capacity, seniors or children, etc.). We can come out with many suggestions, but this will not address the retailers’ main problem, which is lack of customers,” he said.


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