Around a dozen of markets run under the two city corporations of Dhaka are also planning to reopen from May 10
Retailers like Aarong and Bata are set to reopen their outlets countrywide from Sunday, although a handful of shopping malls in the capital are yet to decide amid coronavirus outbreak.
Besides, around a dozen of markets run under the two city corporations of Dhaka are also planning to reopen from May 10.
The government has allowed shops and malls to reopen their business from May 10, with maintaining health guidelines to halt spread of coronavirus.
On Wednesday, managements of Bashundhara City Shopping Complex and Jamuna Future Park , the two largest and posh shopping malls in the capital, decided not to open the malls ahead of Eid over safety concerns.
Dhaka New Market, one of the attractive shopping malls among middle class customers, could not decide as of yesterday on reopening.
“We are in negotiation with shop owners for a decision on reopening the market ,” Dhaka New market Bebosaye Samity president Dewan Aminul Islam Shahin told Dhaka Tribune.
“ If we reopen market, we will have all arrangements on safety for both shoppers and shopkeepers,” he added.
Most local fashion brands are unwilling to reopen their outlets as they believe it is tough to ensure safety during rush of customers.
“Coronavirus infection rate is on the rise and it will be wise not to reopen outlets,” SM Khaled of Sara, a local fashion brand, said.
Why we would try to woo customers in the markets amid health risk, said Azharul Haque Azad, former president of Fashion Entrepreneurs Association of Bangladesh (FEAB).
In a shopping mall it was possible to enforce safety measures, but in single shop it was not possible, he added.
“We are still in discussion with the owners in taking the final decision and how to ensure safety in case of reopening,” said Azad.
Meanwhile, local brands such as Aarong and Bata decided to reopen their outlets.
“We will try to reopen outlets, where we can ensure safety as directed by the government,” Mohammed Hashim Reza, company secretary of Bata Shoe Company Bangladesh told Dhaka Tribune.
“ We have trained our salesmen and provided them safety gears”, he added.
Mohammad Ashraful Alam, Chief Operating Officer, Aarong, said they were planning to reopen 17 outlets out of 21.
However, the Bangladesh Dokan Malik Samity and Dhaka Metropolitan Shop Owners Association leaders claimed that owners were ready to reopen and they would ensure social distancing protocols for both shoppers and shopkeepers.
“As per the government decision, we have decided to reopen small and medium shops and malls from May 10 which will remain open from 10 am to 4 pm,” Dhaka Metropolitan Shop Owners Association president Tawfique Ehsan said.
“But if any one does not want to reopen shops or markets, it is then a personal matter of a trader.”
“As per the government decision, shops and markets at Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) will be reopened by complying health safety guidelines,” DNCC panel mayor Jamal Mostafa said.
In response to a Dhaka Tribune query, Rajeev Gopalakrishnan, President of the Asia-Pacific region of Bata, said they would go by the government decision to remain open on May 10, from 10am to 4:00 pm.
“From the beginning of the Covid19, we've been very serious about the safety of our employees, customers, and other stakeholders. The government has set some strong safety conditions for businesses and being the top footwear brand of the country, we will comply with all of those conditions,” he added.
Currently, there are 264 stores of Bata in the country.