Taiwanese travel retailer Ever Rich Duty Free has revealed an ‘immediate impact’ from the Covid-19 pandemic and drastic drop in customer numbers and sales across its various airport and downtown operations.
Currently, passengers are unable to transit through Taiwanese airports until at least 30 April. Those travellers permitted to enter the country must also observe a 14-day home quarantine.
According to multiple local reports, which have been verified by TRBusiness, Taoyuan Airport recorded zero arrivals in Terminal 1 on 14 April and is set to close more than half its boarding gates due to the decreased passenger traffic.
This publication is reliably informed that T1 is expecting zero arriving and departing passengers tomorrow (21 April) and that only 200 or 300 are expected in Terminal 2.
As reported, Ever Rich introduced a new high-fashion boutique area at T2 in March, after the official phase one opening of its Central Area Duty Free Shop and Fourth Floor Food and Beverage Area in the terminal last August.
THE TRIGGER FOR A DOWNTURN
The retailer operates a number of stores at Taoyuan, Kaohsiung, Taipei Songshan, Taichung and Hualien Airports, along with shops at Keeling Harbour and Shuitou Pier. It also runs downtown duty free outlets in Neihu and Kinmen.
An Ever Rich spokesperson told TRBusiness: “The Covid-19 pandemic has not only caused an unprecedented human and health crisis, but also triggered an economic downtown worldwide, especially in tourism and retail industries.
“While Covid-19 has spread rapidly worldwide sending several countries into lockdown, Taiwan has managed to remain relatively the same.
“Learning from the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak in 2003, the Taiwan government’s quick preparation and early intervention has successfully contained the prevalence of the coronavirus within the country.”
One key learning from the SARS outbreak for Ever Rich is that the safety and wellness of staff is a fundamental part of the business.. “Since Taiwan is only 81 miles off the coast of China (the original epicentre of the virus) and taking into account the country welcomed 2.71 million visitors from mainland China in 2019, we took the precautionary early measure of dividing all staff into shifts to avoid virus transmission.
“Ever Rich also asked employees to submit their daily itineraries and travel and contact history so it can monitor and trace back cases if there are any positive tests.”
Additionally, employees in direct contact with consumers have been advised on how to ensure their safety and wellbeing in the workplace.
Amid the ongoing Covid-19 crisis and calls for travel restrictions and border closures, there is short-term and long-term economic uncertainty. The spokesperson emphasised: “It is important to ensure job security and reassure our staff with positive messages.
“Ever Rich has put our staff first and is striving to minimise the impact of the pandemic on our employees.”
He concluded: “Ever Rich will continue to comply with measures rolled out by the government while staying proactive and maintaining business.”
Asia & Pacific,