Essential worker and residents are seen walking on the empty streets of the Pretoria CBC. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA)
Essential worker and residents are seen walking on the empty streets of the Pretoria CBC. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA)

Retail, hospitality industry faces tough battle to claw back from Covid-19

By Mwangi Githathu Time of article published Apr 10, 2020

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Cape Town - The post-Covid-19 era recovery for businesses in the retail and hospitality sectors will not be smooth, especially because investors still need to digest a mountain of negative economic data and, possibly, many bankruptcies.

This according to chief market strategist at FXTM Hussein Sayed, who said: “In my opinion, the best-case scenario is likely to be a U-shaped recovery and not a V-shaped one. The world post-coronavirus is not going to be the same for a long time to come. Social behaviour needs time to return back to normal, which means the service sector will continue to feel the pain.”

Sayed’s remarks come as retail futurist and consultant Howard Saunders, speculating about the post-lockdown future of the retail and hospitality industry, said: “We must not underestimate the catastrophic effects the pandemic will have on 21st century life. Thousands of shops, pubs, restaurants, bars, cinemas, galleries and venues will close for good. There’s no question, the retail apocalypse has arrived. Unemployment will soar as fast as our incomes decline.”

Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Geoff Jacobs said: “The worst case for most small businesses would be for the lockdown to be extended and for the coronacirus pandemic to continue. Tourism would continue to be very badly hit, as would restaurants.”

Adopting an optimistic view, independent marketing consultant Cleo Johnson said: “During this time, consultants need to start putting together post-corona strategies for their clients and potential contracts, as hotels and companies will be looking for expert knowledge and a fine-tuned plan to recover. This is particularly important for independent properties.”

Co-founder of Rentoza, Africa’s first on-demand rental platform, Mishaan Ratan said: “By thinking unconventionally, South African businesses have opportunities to create tangible value for their businesses and the economy...

“One of the ways that these business owners can make their existing business assets, like laptops, smartphones and appliances, work for them is through renting them out."

@MwangiGithahu

[email protected]

Cape Argus

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