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Sri Lanka Retailers’ Association appeals for 50% concession on rentals and leases

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‘Unfavourable forex situation has plunged many retail businesses into a new low’

‘Circumstances could force retailers to consider reduced business locations’

The Sri Lanka Retailers’ Association (SLRA), the apex body for organised retail in Sri Lanka, has issued a communique requesting landlords, lessors, and business partners to reduce leases and rentals for the Association’s membership.

President of SLRA, Murali Prakash appealed to landlords and lessors to provide a 50% concession on rentals and leases on all forms of physical infrastructure on properties leased and rented by SLRA members for the next one year. Furthermore, the association appeals to all business partners to share other costs where possible, to ensure that the sector, as a whole, is sustainable through these difficult times to safeguard the entire ecosystem.

The unfavourable forex situation has plunged many retail businesses into a new low after battling the COVID-19 pandemic for over two years with reduced operability. This has significantly eroded the business sustainability, given that most retailers heavily rely on imported products and raw material. The ongoing dollar crisis could continue to significantly reduce the revenues, impede growth and impact all operational levels to a point where maintaining physical infrastructure would be challenging. Increasing the cost base has further dampened the condition.

Due to this situation, there is a sense of urgency for the retailers to forge partnerships and implement cost sharing in all areas to wade through the challenges. SLRA believes that retailers and their business partners could overcome such adverse conditions only through a shared vision. If they stand together, all costs can be shared and the businesses could continue to operate. The alternative would force retailers to consider reduced business locations, which could hurt many landlords and business partners and result in zero income. A similar impact will befall other business partners, should retail customer points are reduced. Therefore, it is in the interest of everyone, that a shared cost strategy is established.

SLRA is optimistic that landlords, lessors, and other business partners would share part of the costs through reduced rentals and other cost-sharing options; thus, striving to create a better tomorrow. It also understands the impact this would have on the lessors and landlords and other business partners and suppliers. However, the industry needs to stay afloat for all parties to benefit in the future, and therefore a collective action is indeed the way forward.

Retailers have endlessly supported the local economy during good and bad times, and this is an exception where they need support from all business partners. Retail accounts for over one-third of the GDP and over 15% of the employment in Sri Lanka. Vibrant retail is an essential part of a healthy and robust economy. Hence, it is imperative that all parties come together to support the retailers at this juncture for the nation’s greater good.

The SLRA currently represents nine sectors in the retail industry, namely FMCG; Clothing, Fashion & Jewellery; Shelter & Housing; Household & Consumer Durables; Footwear & Accessories; E-Commerce; Mobility; Entertainment, Restaurant, and QSR; Healthcare and Wellness.

SLRA expresses gratitude to all parties, in advance, for the support extended to its membership.



Business

Sri Lanka’s economic confidence index plummets

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‘No one has rated Sri Lanka’s economic condition as excellent. 1.8 % rated it as good and 1.3 % rated it as getting better. The resulting score was a (-) 96. This rating was (-) 83 in January 2022, a wide ranging Verite Research public opinion survey reveals.

Key findings of the survey:

Government approval rating drops from 10% to 3%

The second round of the Gallup Style “Mood of the Nation” poll was conducted in June by Verité Research. It assessed the approval, satisfaction, and confidence of the nation in relation to the government, the country, and the economy.

The poll was conducted as a part of the syndicated survey instrument by Verité Research. This instrument also provides other organisations the opportunity to survey the sentiments of Sri Lanka.

1. Government approval rating | 3% | To the question, “Do you approve or disapprove of the way the current government is working?” only 3% said they approve. In January 2022 this rating was at 10%.

2. Sri Lanka satisfaction | 2% | To the question, “In general, are you satisfied or dissatisfied with the way things are going in Sri Lanka?” only 2% said they were satisfied. This rating was at 6% in January 2022.

3. Economic confidence | negative (-) 96 | Multiple choice questions on the condition and trajectory of the economy are used to generate an economic confidence score. The score can range from negative (-) 100 to positive (+) 100. A score above zero means more people see the economic conditions positively rather than negatively. If everyone thinks the economy is in either excellent or good condition, and everyone also thinks it is getting better, the score will be (+) 10. If everyone thinks that the economy is in a poor condition, and everyone also thinks it is getting worse, the score will be a (-) 100. No one rated the economic condition as excellent. 1.8% rated it as good; and 1.3% rated it as getting better. The resulting score was a (-) 96. This rating was (-) 83 in January 2022.

Implementation of “Mood of

the Nation”

The poll is based on an island wide nationally representative sample of responses from 1,052 Sri Lankan adults, conducted in June 2022. The sample and methodology was designed to ensure a maximum error margin of under 3% at a 95% confidence interval. The polling partner was Vanguard Survey (Pvt) Ltd.

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Decline in share market in the wake of rate hike reports

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By Hiran H.Senewiratne

CSE trading activities began on a positive note yesterday but during the latter part of the day the market experienced a dip on account of the overall supply chain economy being subjected to a contraction, stemming from the fuel crisis. Consequently, CSE activities were relatively low keyed, market analysts said.

“We are reverting to the negative. There is uncertainty on all fronts, from the political to the economic. Therefore, we are expecting a rate hike on Thursday. This is creating a bit of a cloud and we may see this continuing further, a top market analyst said.

Even if top level decision- making is happening in Sri Lanka the impact is not felt at the grassroots level. This has resulted in unrest in the country, the analyst said.

Amid those developments, both indices moved downwards. The All- Share Price Index went down by 97.9 points and S and P SL20 declined by 34.3 points. Turnover stood at Rs 1.3 billion with one crossing. The crossing was reported in JKH, which crossed 600,000 shares to the tune of Rs 73.2 million, its shares traded at Rs 122.

In the retail market, the top seven companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were; Lanka IOC Rs 611 million (7.3 million shares traded), Expolanka Holdings Rs 173.9 million (one million shares traded). LOLC Holdings Rs 47.4 million (120,000 sha4es traded), Hayleys PLC Rs 46.5 million (697.000 shares traded), Browns Investments Rs 46.3 million (6.4 million shares traded), JKH Rs 21 million (173,000 shares traded) and Softlogic Holdings Rs 20.5 million (794,000 shares traded). During the day 109 million share volumes changed hands in 15000 transactions.

The International Monetary Fund said last Thursday its talks with crisis-hit Sri Lanka had been “constructive”, thereby raising hopes it would soon grant preliminary approval for a desperately needed financial support package, observers said.

Meanwhile, the Colombo Consumer Price index rose 54.6 per cent year-on-year in June against a 39.1 per cent rise in May, according to the Statistics Department.

Yesterday the US dollar rate was Rs 360.73, which is now being controlled due to the prudent fiscal and monetary policies of the Central Bank.

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Dialog Club vision members receive access to an exclusive screening of ‘Jurassic World Dominion’

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In a bold and breath-taking new global adventure, the epic conclusion to the Jurassic film franchise ‘Jurassic World Dominion’ hit theatres across the world on June 10. Just a day after its global premiere, Dialog Club Vision Red members and their loved ones received special access to an exclusive screening of the film at the Kandy City Centre Multiplex on June 11.

The explosive end to the Jurassic era sees two generations of the film’s franchise unite for the first time with Hollywood’s Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard joined by Oscar winner Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum and Sam Neill. Dialog Club Vision members were some of the first to witness the utopian world where Dinosaurs and humans co-exist.

With the best interests of its members and their loved ones at heart, Dialog Club Vision continues to deliver a world of exclusivity and privileges such as personalized care, exclusive discounts and offers, lifestyle and entertainment events and more. To explore more exciting offers available for Dialog Club Vision members, and to learn more about Sri Lanka’s premier loyalty programme, customers can visit the MyDialog App or visit dialog.lk/club-vision

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