Send Feedback Print Article
Retailers in tsunami-affected zones in Sri Lanka resume business
RETAIL outlets damaged by the tsunami of December 26 are beginning to resume business in Sri Lanka, according to global market research, information and analysis company ACNielsen.
Out of a total of 2,968 retail outlets in Sri Lanka, found mostly in urban areas in the southern and western provinces, 5% located within these provinces stock branded packaged products. These are the findings of a retail census conducted across affected areas by
“To date, 40% of the outlets damaged are back in business,” said Dwight Watson, managing director, ACNielsen Sri Lanka.
Among the various districts, Galle showed a high 41% of its outlets completely damaged, while the Hambantota district saw 7% of its outlets washed away by the tsunami. By store types, Cigarettes/Soft Drink and Eating/Drinking outlets recorded the greatest damage.
In addition, urban areas along the coastal belt of the southern and western regions have been the most impacted. A total of 1,532 outlets, or 28% of outlets, in the southern province and 180 outlets, or 1% of outlets, in the western province were affected. (See Table 1.)
Of the 29% ‘total affected outlets’ within the southern province, 5% have suffered complete structural damage and will need to be relocated as they fell within the 100m radius of the tsunami. Another 12% of the outlets have been damaged fully/partially and remain closed for business while 12% of outlets that were damaged have re-opened for business. “These trends suggest that Sri Lanka’s retailers are resilient and are combating difficulties successfully,” said Watson.
A district-wide analysis of the impact on outlets in the southern province shows that among outlets classified as suffering ‘complete structural damaged’, a large percentage of outlets were located in the Galle district. Hambantota was next in this segment with 29.7%, and Matara 29%.
Shops classified as ‘damaged fully/partially and remain closed for business’ were located
mostly in Galle (70.5%), followed by Matara (17.7%), and Hambantota (11.8%). In the ‘damaged but back to business’ category, once again the Galle district had the highest percentage at 49.6%, followed by Matara (41%) and Hambantota 9%. (Refer to Table 2.)
The Cigarette/Soft Drink category took the brunt of the tsunami, with 9% of its outlets completely damaged. Within this category, 16.6% of outlets were damaged and remain closed for business. Another 15.6% of these outlets, though damaged, had resumed business.
The next store type to be hit the hardest was the Eating/Drinking category that had 6.5% of total stores damaged, 13.2% damaged and closed while 10.4% were damaged but able to resume business. Groceries saw 4.5% outlets totally damaged and beyond repair, while 9.5% were damaged but closed and 8.7% of groceries were damaged but had restarted operations.
“At the overall level, the effect of the tsunami on retail outlets in the southern and western provinces was hard and it would appear that retail outlets in these provinces are well on their way to recovery,” noted Watson.
In Sri Lanka, the ACNielsen Retail Index is based on monthly all-island coverage (excluding the northern and eastern provinces), from the panel of traditional trade outlets (grocery shopping, eating drinking, chemist, cosmetics, etc).