‘Alive but sort of dead’: Retailers to see slow recovery despite restrictions easing

first_imgThe government’s decision to gradually lift the PSBB has allowed shopping malls to re-open their doors and retailers to go back to business, albeit in a limited way and with strict health protocols.Health Minister Terawan Agus Putranto signed on June 19 a decree on health guidelines for public facilities, including hotels, restaurants and shopping malls. Such establishments are obliged to provide hand sanitizers in public spaces, clean these areas with disinfectant at least three times a day and maintain proper ventilation.It is mandatory for both employees and guests to undergo temperature checks and wear face masks in these areas. Meanwhile, the 50 percent cap on venue capacity that has been widely used by businesses is not included in the decree, which instead has a 1-meter social-distancing rule.Pilarmas Investindo Sekuritas equity analyst Maximilianus Nico Demus also said on Thursday that the malls’ re-opening might not necessarily boost retailers’ performance as the COVID-19 pandemic had shown no sign of subsiding.“As long as the number of confirmed cases has yet to show signs of slowing down, consumers will prefer to save their money instead of going shopping,” he told The Jakarta Post over the phone.Indonesia recorded more than 1,200 new confirmed COVID-19 cases on Friday, bringing the total infection number to over 50,100 with at least 2,600 deaths, official data show.Maximilianus believes the recovery in the retail companies’ performance might not happen before next year.“The recovery will start to happen if the spread of the virus declines, scientists find a vaccine for the virus or the government provides a huge fiscal and monetary stimulus package,” he said.Despite the bleak projection, some stocks have an advantage over other publicly listed retailers. “Retailers that have an established online presence can reap more advantages because customers will still have a shopping alternative,” Maximilianus said.Publicly listed retailer PT MAP Aktif Adiperkasa chief digital officer Amit Keswani seemed to be managing his company’s expectations, along with its parent company publicly listed PT Mitra Adiperkasa (MAP), about business prospects this year.“[The year] 2020 is about riding through it, continuing investment and connecting with our customers more closely. I don’t think we’ll start seeing 2019 numbers until 2021,” he said during an online discussion organized by the British Chamber of Commerce in Indonesia on Tuesday.MAP Aktif sales jumped by 19.2 percent yoy to Rp 7.4 trillion (US$517.61 million) in 2019, while its net profits skyrocketed by 96.14 percent yoy to Rp 693.18 billion.Meanwhile, MAP recorded a 12.47 percent increase in sales to Rp 8.14 trillion last year with net profits of Rp 1.03 trillion, up by 6.8 percent yoy.Topics : “In stark contrast to the minimum-to-no visits to durable goods, besides F&B [food and beverages] stores, people are still rushing to supermarkets to buy basic necessities, while staying vigilant about maintaining their health by purchasing vitamins at drug stores.”The large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) implemented in several regions, such as virus epicenters and business centers Jakarta, Bandung in West Java and Surabaya in East Java, forced retailers, factories and offices to shut down to contain the coronavirus spread, severely limiting demand as people stayed at home.Retail sales slumped by 7.5 percent year-on-year (yoy) in April, signaling weaker private consumption. Meanwhile, the trade, services and investment sector on the Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX) has recorded a 21.87 percent fall so far this year as investors have dumped such stocks. The main gauge, the Jakarta Composite Index (JCI), lost more than 22 percent of its value during the same period.Mirae equity analyst Christine Natasya in a research note on June 3 expected the retail sector to recover gradually starting the second half of this year following the government’s decision to postpone the Idul Fitri collective holiday to December. The holiday postponement was taken to prevent people from going on mudik (the Idul Fitri exodus) in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19. Easing mobility restrictions in various regions across Indonesia will not provide an instant boost to the country’s retail sector as wary consumers are expected to still limit their store visits amid a steady rise in COVID-19 cases, analysts have said.Mirae Asset Sekuritas Indonesia economist Anthony Kevin found that customers did not immediately flock to shopping malls despite the reopening, adding that even those visiting malls still avoided durable goods stores.“Alive but sort of dead. This is what we thought when visiting several malls in Jakarta and Bekasi [in West Java] as we found that people are still holding back from visiting malls,” he wrote in a research note dated June 19.last_img read more

Minister Norton to Vickery: We would love to have you represent us’

first_imgWITH 22-year-old tennis star Sachia Vickery signalling her intentions to represent Guyana at the Olympic Games, Social Cohesion Minister Dr George Norton expressed this country’s delight at the news, stating emphatically, “We would love to have you representing us.”Vickery, born to Guyanese parents Rawle Vickery and Paula Liverpool who hail from Region 10, had long been telling the world about her affiliation to the ‘mighty Kaieteur’ and told Dr Norton and reporters at the Minister’s Main Street office, “I might not have been born in Guyana, but I tell people I’m Guyanese. All my family, my parents are from Guyana and people from here support me a lot whenever I play. They would reach out to me personally, or to my mom, so it’s only right that I return.”The diminutive but powerful player’s last visit to Guyana was in December 2015. According to Vickery, at her meeting yesterday with the Minister who is also responsible for Sport, “My visit now is to meet with a few people, to let them know I’m a part of this country, for them to see me and so on.”Minister Norton pointed out that with Vickery showing willingness to represent Guyana, it could open the door for others who are similarly competing at the highest level within their respective disciplines to follow in her footsteps.Upon learning of the player’s link to Kwakwani through her mother, and Linden thanks to her father who also represented Guyana (in football), Minister Norton said, “You know, it’s no surprise, really. Linden brings out the best and also Kwakwani has produced some really top athletes as well.”Meanwhile, Vickery is expected to meet with president of the Guyana Olympic Association (GOA) Juman Yassin today at the Liliendaal headquarters, as well as Guyana Lawn Tennis Association (GLTA).Vickery is still relishing her well-deserved climb in the latest World Rankings and is on the verge of breaking into the WTA’s Top 100 for the first time after she had the best week of her career in Auckland, New Zealand.She not only reached the first WTA semi-final of her career, but also set a brand new career-high of No.106 in the world (according to the latest WTA Rankings).last_img read more

Men’s hockey hopes to shed youthful image soon

first_imgFreshman forward Brendan Woods, among other freshmen, is steadily catching on the speed of the college level, posting one goal and three assists in the first month of his career.[/media-credit]The Wisconsin men’s hockey team is ready to put any references to their youthful, inexperienced roster to rest.But when there are nine freshmen on the team – with a total of 20 underclassmen – those stunting adjectives are bound to stick around no matter the record, conference standing or upset win.Head coach Mike Eaves knows the only way to get past the youthful tag is that the Badgers have to start focusing on the details.“It’s attention to detail,” Eaves said. “Little things like protecting the puck along the wall, not getting beat on wall to the front of the net, having good stick position, widening your base so you’re stronger in the corner. It’s a matter of being there, but not just being there – being effective. That’s a step from being youthful to effective, which is part of being an upperclassmen.”And the message has been sent down the lines of the team as well.“I don’t think there’s one specific thing, we just have to grow in all aspects of our game,” junior forward Ryan Little said. “Just be more consistent and you know that’s something that comes with time. I think every week we’re just going out there to improve.”While Eaves would not say that any of his freshmen are playing beyond their years just yet, some have already begun to stand out early.Eaves plays two freshmen goalies – Landon Peterson and Joel Rumpel – to mind the net Fridays and Saturdays. Eaves has said he considers the two to be neck and neck, though Rumpel has the statistical advantage with 157 saves for a .913 save percentage and a 3-1-1 record. Peterson isn’t far behind, with 140 saves for a .875 save percentage, but his record is only 1-4-0.But, of course, when only freshmen tend goal, they’re going to stick out. And the young cubs are finally starting to make an impact on offense as well.Straight out of high school, forward Joe LaBate is already playing on the top line and has posted eight points on the season. LaBate scored his first goal in UW’s season opener, netting the game-tying goal to send it into overtime. The Badgers went on to lose 3-2 to Northern Michigan.“We didn’t know for sure [how he would handle college hockey] because he’s a high school kid,” freshman forward Brendan Woods said. “It’s a big step. From juniors it’s a lot easier because you’re playing with the older kids. LaBate, I think he’s showed up the most. He came out on the first line. That’s pretty impressive for all of us to see.”LaBate has notched two goals this season, and Woods has started to make a difference with one goal himself. The only other freshman with more goals is Matt Paape, who has netted three.Paape has played one less game, but in the past two weeks no one would have guessed it. The Appleton native has scored a goal in each of Wisconsin’s last three games.Eaves credits Paape’s success to the game experience he’s had so far.“The young man that jumps off the page after this past weekend is a guy like Matthew Paape,” Eaves said. “I think the game is starting to slow down for him. It’s not a rat race; it’s starting to slow down. Even in the early games you could tell he was hurrying things.“When he should have had more poise and confidence with the puck, he was chipping or shooting it too early. Now he’s starting to slow down.”A month into the season, after three overtime losses, a series sweep at home and finally picking up a point on the road, the Badgers have learned a lot about themselves as a team.For the freshmen, they got a crash course about playing college hockey.“I think even from summer we’ve come a long way,” Paape said. “We’re getting stronger, getting our feet under ourselves on the ice, getting accustomed to the speed of the game, the big bodies [and] just being able to make smart plays out there. I think we’ve come a long way.”Little also noted the freshmen’s progress and was impressed by their willingness to learn.“I think every single one of them has grown a lot,” he said. “They come in, a lot of them are pretty raw and they get their feet wet pretty quick. There are a lot of them in the lineup every night. They’re all willing to go out there and work and learn. That’s what I’ve been most impressed with, just their willingness to go out there and learn.”While the freshmen certainly have to catch up to the speed of the game, Woods said it’s an overall team effort. The best help is from the guys who have already been there.“I think it’s more of the older guys helping us out,” Woods said. “They’ve been in our spots before so they kind of make it easier on us and show us the ropes. It makes it a lot easier when you get on the ice.”Ultimately, learning the game, growing and shedding that youthful image all come from game experience and the situations Wisconsin puts itself in.Eaves said he believes that every weekend has shown a fair amount of growth for his team, especially for one so young.“Every time we play – when we played against North Dakota it was an acceleration, going up and playing at a place we just did is an acceleration, because that’s kind of a wacky atmosphere up there – every weekend presents its own way of helping these kids grow up because every weekend was the first,” Eaves said. “It’s all brand new. It’s exciting, but it’s all brand new.”And hosting No. 1 Minnesota this weekend will be no different. But it will be a chance for UW to finally shed those young modifiers that currently define it.“I think it’s going to be a lot easier with our crowd. Minnesota is probably our biggest rival,” Woods said. “It just gives you a little jump in your step and makes you want to wake up in the morning. … We want to show that we can play with the best.”last_img read more

Gaming Obsession

first_imgBy Kathy MieleWhen my son Max was just a toddler, he played Sesame Street educational videos. As far as I was concerned, it was a fun way for him to learn his letters and numbers. What harm could come from that, I thought.Then the first real video game came into the house, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.“Look at the way his foot comes up at exactly the same time the turtles are landing a kick shot,”  my husband, Steven said.Max had pulled his little plastic picnic table up in front of the television set. He was sitting on top of the table with his feet planted firming on the bench, except when Donatello was high kicking one of the bad guys, and sure enough Max’s little foot was off the bench and into the air.“I’m not sure about video games with fighting in them,” I said to Steven.“They’re cartoon turtles. They’re fighting for pizza,” Steven argued. “Besides, it’s great for hand-eye coordination.”I decided not to argue at the time because they really were just cartoon turtles.Then my second son was born. Alex was also introduced to videos, not only from his Dad but his big brother too. He started out on Sesame Street but quickly got promoted to all the Mario Brother games then onto whatever Max was playing. I tried to watch the ratings, trying to keep them in the proper age bracket, but when kids are trading games and playing at one another’s homes, I have to admit, it got pretty hard to keep up.Now that both my boys are out of their teens I really don’t monitor what they’re playing. I do know there’s a lot of yelling and bomb blasts when they play. Even Steven still has his favorite games he plays with the boys.I never really got the whole video obsession. I always thought it was a guy thing, until just recently.When I got my new phone I happened to download the Bejeweled game. I really don’t know what even possessed me to do it but I can see it’s now becoming a problem.Alex walked into the kitchen where I was sitting on a kitchen stool holding my new pink phone, my fingers frantically swiping at the screen as I tried to line up at least three jewels in a row.“Mom, what’s for dinner?” Alex asked looking over my shoulder.“It’s cooking,” I answered trying not to lose my concentration.Alex walked over to the pot and lifted the lid. “It’s boiling water,” he said looking back at me.“I know.” I was only seconds away from beating my high score. “I’ll be done in one second and then I’ll put the pasta in.”“Time’s up!” the Bejeweled voice announced.“Ohhhh.” I put the phone on the counter. “I was so close,” I complained. I took the box of pasta out of the cabinet. As I walked to the stove I saw that Alex was trying hard not to laugh.“What so funny?” I asked.Alex picked up my phone to see my score. “This is how it begins,” he explained. “Pretty soon you’re going to be wearing a headset and playing on a team with Dad, Max and me.”“That’s never going to happen,” I said as I dropped the pasta in the boiling water. I handed Alex a spoon.“Can you stir the pasta for me? I want to get one more quick game in before I have to set the table.”Alex took the spoon and headed for the stove. “Yup, this is exactly how it begins.”last_img read more