Kolkata| Mumbai: Apple has paid its 500-odd exclusive stores in the country two months of rent and salaries for store staff apart from extending payment period to 60 days, even as consumer goods biggies like Hindustan Unilever (HUL), ITC, Samsung, Marico and Godrej Consumer Products are extending payment period for trade partners and retailers to help them tide over business disruptions due to Covid-19.
The move comes when most retailers are grappling with low or intermittent sales in FMCG and no business at all in categories like mobile phones and consumer electronics, but are burdened with high overheads such as employee wages.
Cupertino-headquartered Apple has just paid the amount to all its Apple Premium Reseller partners who run the large format stores and Apple Retail outlets which are smaller format exclusive stores. The company has asked partners in an email to “explore and improve alternative channels to distribute Apple products, including online.” Apple has also offered the multi-brand retail stores extended payment period of 30 days. The company did not respond to an email sent.
Several large and small retailers have approached brands for support with business for most impacted due to lockdown. Even food and grocery retail chains who are operational have requested for support since their sales too are lower than the usual with several stores remaining shut and disruption in supplies.
The country’s largest FMCG firm, HUL said the current lockdown is impacting cash flows of both suppliers and distributors. HUL is paying suppliers on time and is evaluating the needs of distributors and supporting them with extended credit to ensure continuity of operations, its spokesperson said.