The Commonwealth Games might have turned the city around, but it has not been good to the shopkeepers at Kinari Bazar in Chandni Chowk.
With the festive season on, the shopkeepers, who expected a boost in sales, have not found too many buyers for their stocks of decorations, and Ram Lila costumes and accessories.
Even permission to ferry goods’ has proved difficult for them. “Due to tight security at the borders areas, we faced problems in getting permits for transportation. About 50 per cent of the stock is yet to reach the markets. The transportation charges have also gone to R500 from R100 per delivery. This is another reason we did not see many buyers this year,” said Pradeep Jain, president of Kinari Bazar Traders’ Association.
Even regular customers have given the market a miss. “We were expecting more foreign buyers during the Games. The Indians in Malaysia, Singapore and South Africa, who come here for bulk purchases as they stage Ram Lilas there, did not turn up this year,” said Rakesh Jindal, who owns a shop at the market.
This has resulted in a price rise of sorts. “The prices have increased from 40-45% this time,” said Jatin Kumar and Prem Saxena, who visit the market every year to buy costumes and accessories for Ram Lila.
Now, to boost their sales, the shopkeepers have introduced a variety in their goods.
“The stock reaches our markets nearly one month before Dussehra. This time, we have brought in costumes with new patterns for the Ram Lila characters including attire with embedded pearls instead of beads,” said Sanjay Jain, another shopkeeper.