Government should permit non-food outlets to make home delivery: RAI

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In an appeal to the Maharashtra government, RAI requested the government to allow home delivery of non-food products.

Appreciating efforts taken by the Maharashtra State Government to curb the surge of the pandemic, the Retailers Association of India (RAI) has appealed to the State Government to permit non-food category retailers to make safe and contactless ‘Home Deliveries’ of orders taken via phone and other electronic means. In addition to food and FMCG items, citizens also need clothing, personal care products, baby products, electrical & hardware items, work-related and kitchen-related essentials and other non-food items when at home to meet their daily needs, observed RAI. Allowing non-food retailers to carry out home deliveries will ensure that people have fewer reasons to step outside, there is easy availability of non-essential supplies and stricter adherence to social distancing.

Expressing his views on the concern, Kumar Rajagopalan, CEO, Retailers Association of India (RAI) said “Citizens also need non-food items such as clothing, hardware, electrical, household kitchen items among others on a daily basis. To enable fulfilling these needs without hardships, all sizes and formats of non-food retail should be allowed to take orders over phone and other electronic means for home deliveries. The store premises can be allowed to be opened to the limited extent of fulfilling home delivery orders while being closed for walk-in customers. This ensures social distancing and convenience to customers.”

The entire retail industry including non-essential retail is keen on joining the war against COVID-19 by following social distancing protocols and safety measures and serving customers through non-contact deliveries. Shutting down of non-food retail is not the solution. Instead, there is an urgent need for stricter surveillance to ensure that all rules with regards to safety & hygiene and, social distancing norms are being followed by one and all.

Removing roadblocks at the local level will not only help curb the spread but will also help save millions of livelihoods and help revive the economy.