Retail sector recovers faster than expected - Singer | Daily News
Consumer demand buoyant following lifting of lockdown

Retail sector recovers faster than expected - Singer

 Mahesh Wijewardene
Mahesh Wijewardene

Singer Sri Lanka has seen that consumer demand has remained buoyant following the lifting of lockdown. The company has beat its own forecasts and has reached figures comparable with last year for the fiirst half of the year.

CEO Singer Mahesh Wijewardene said, “The retail sector of the consumer durables was able to come back to a state of normalcy faster than other sectors. The people require these goods in their day to day living.’ Though the lockdown hampered initial demand this was regained when the country was re-opened, Wijewardene speaking to LMD TV said.

Trends like online shopping and digital learning have changed both demand and behaviour of consumers. Young children now require laptops for their education and due to the lockdown people are increasingly cooking at home. Demand for TVs has risen with consumers willing to spend more on larger models.

Singer was able to circumvent CBSL regulations and import restrictions with strong relationships with their suppliers who issued them with 180 days of trade credit.

Wijewardene said, “The month of April was basically nothing because it was a tota lockdown situation. We lose a big month, April is a seasonal month. From the middle of May onwards showrooms started opening and until the middle of September things were ok.”

“If the governnent wants to promote locally produced goods it can’t be immediately done as companies need time to make preparations. At least 1.5 years to make investments.”

Wijewardene noted that since 2011 policymakers have been trying to make Colombo a shopping hub for high-end tourists and that is only possible if prices were comparable.