In Jakarta, the hardest-hit by Covid-19, mall visitor numbers plunged by 49 percent following the government-led PSBB measures. People mostly visit the malls for buying essential needs only such as basic necessities, medicines, and vitamins.
“Shifting consumer behavior that prioritizes health and hygiene at the mall is the factor of the declining number,” said Director of Consumer Insight at Nielsen Connect Indonesia Rusdy Sumantri.
Rusdy stressed the importance of enforcing strict health protocols to get the customers back. This includes body temperature check, the use of masks, hand washing areas, physical distancing rules, and the use of disinfecting products.
“Shopping centers can also utilize technology innovations for touch-less elevators, parking ticket machines, and other equipment in the toilet,” he said.
Meanwhile, Head of the Indonesian Shopping Center Association (APPBI) Stefanus Ridwan said that the decline in mall visitor numbers will not significantly affect revenue.
“I think although the malls have to reduce the capacity by 50 percent, it will not affect the revenue because visitors already know what they need to buy such as clothes or food,” Stefanus said.
Visitors may not soon return to shopping the way they did before the coronavirus crisis as they are still concerned about the spread of Covid-19. This is one of the challenges that mall operators are currently facing. Therefore, building better communication with all relevant stakeholders is important to gain trust from the consumers and to run the business ahead.
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