The Government of Georgia has eased part of the COVID-related restrictions and the retail sector will operate on weekends from March 13, but the curfew still remains in place.
Levan Karalashvili, general director of Tbilisi Central highlights that shifting the curfew by 2 hours is critically important for the sector because trade facilities have the basic flow of customers from 18:00 to 20:00. When the stores are shut down at 19:00, the sales are reduced by 20% per day.
"The curfew limits a lot of things. First - reduces the operating time for the businesses. In fact, we worked until 22:00. Now, we work until 19:00, hence we lose over 20-25 hours a week. As a result, one full and effective day for trading is vanished per week and this affects the number of customers and turnover.
We said that our turnover was halved. The trend remains the same this month because generally February is not active season. Now, we are moving to a more active season and we want to expand the curfew by 2 hours. This will be extra time to work and the facilities will be able to generate more revenue which is directly related to the service of their liabilities,” said Levan Karalashvili.
Karalashvili notes that shifting the curfew is also important for trade facilities on the weekends, as the shopping malls will have opportunity to work in the evening. Karalashvili notes, that 40% of sales accounts for weekend sales.
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