A retail nosedive has hit Indonesia as much of public activity grounds to a halt due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with Japanese casual wear retailer Uniqlo being among the latest business to temporarily close its stores across the country.
Uniqlo announced on Instagram that all of its Indonesian stores will close starting tomorrow until at least April 9.
View this post on Instagram
Pengumuman penutupan sementara toko UNIQLO Indonesia terkait situasi COVID-19 di Indonesia. Kesehatan pelanggan dan karyawan merupakan hal utama bagi UNIQLO. Untuk itu kami memutuskan untuk menutup sementara seluruh toko UNIQLO Indonesia mulai 27 Maret 2020 hingga 9 April 2020 atau hingga pemberitahuan lebih lanjut. Pantau informasi terkini di sosial media UNIQLO Indonesia atau melalui situs kami di Uniqlo.com.
Fair pay is obviously high on Uniqlo’s PR agenda, as the company still controversially stands accused of failing to pay owed wages to Indonesian garment workers. The retailer answered a related query in the comments section of the above post, saying that its Indonesian retail workers are still going to be paid despite the temporary closure of its stores.
Some of Jakarta’s major malls, such as Senayan City, Plaza Indonesia, Central Park, and Lippo Mall Puri have also seen major tenants close until at least the first week of April. Supermarkets and drug stores in those malls remain open.
Despite the absence of a government-mandated lockdown measure, there’s been a significant downturn in commercial activity in Jakarta, driving shopping centers and retailers to voluntarily close on their own.
But with most Jakartans remaining at home to wait out the COVID-19 pandemic, retailers have dialed up promotions for online shopping, though it remains to be seen if such a strategy is successful.