06 / 12 / 21
Enforced lockdowns in the wake of the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, incurred heavy losses for the amusement business all across the country.
After grappling to stay afloat at the onset of the pandemic, amusement business, essentially in Northern India, has received a positive response since the summer of 2021, dispelling fears of stagnancy after amusement companies missed targets. The pandemic dragged business to a standstill – understandably, visiting Game Zones and Theme Parks was perhaps the last thought on everyone’s mind.
Compared to a year ago, IACs are in a period where things are beginning to look up and the amusement sector is starting to get back on its feet. Analyzing month-wise, the sales figure has come close to 80% of the pre-covid sales mark.
To sustain in the midst of Covid -19, IACs have employed a slew of measures so that they can safely reopen embracing the new normal. Financial obligations have been one of the pivotal concerns as IACs found it increasingly difficult to meet the real-estate rentals, taxes, state levies, and staff salaries in the pandemic-ridden environment.
The financial distress has been multiplied as most of the malls have charged the IACs for as much as 50% Rentals and CAM (Common Area Maintenance) for the shutdown period. However, after this bumpy ride, recent revenues and footfalls show a ray of hope, we can expect a sharp recovery in FY2022. While the number of visitors is likely to be inconsistent and perhaps unpredictable, if there are no further covid lockdowns, IACs could start making their regular income in the next financial year.
The upcoming year will bring different challenges as there appears to be remarkable pent-up demand pertaining to major mall openings and other amusement-related projects that didn’t make economic sense to be operated during the past two years. With more and more people seeking outdoor amusement options to enjoy with their dear ones, we can expect a surge in entertainment-related projects as the IACs had remained occupied as of late with customers cautiously starting to step out again. Established IACs brands would try to capitalize on the ample supply of new malls and get good bargains (rental deals) in upcoming malls.
IACs are designed to have communal crowds and to accommodate gatherings, thereby, while delivering shared experiences, focusing on cautious reopening and adopting safety measures would ensure that IACs rebound. Learning to carefully control crowds would ensure that IACs quickly start to raise attendance capacity in the times to come.