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New Year, but little to cheer

delhi Updated: Dec 30, 2008 01:32 IST
Tanya Ashreena
Tanya Ashreena
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Blame it on terror, slowdown or just the wait for end-of-season sales, people are spending less this season. Even as the malls and markets are choc-a-block with shoppers, shopkeepers say sales are not as good.

Window-shopping away

People are out, making the most of the holiday season. But they are not necessarily buying. “There is very little actual buying and selling on. Though slowdown is one factor, another reason is that the big sales occur after December 31,” said Rajendra Sharda, president, Greater Kailash Market Association.

In Khan Market, footpath shops are doing better than branded stores. “This could be because the shopping budget has come down,” said Sanjeev Mehra, president of the Khan Market Traders’ Association.

In Connaught Place, Janpath is witnessing better crowd than the Inner Circle. “Shoppers might be waiting for the Big CP sale in January,” said New Delhi Traders’ Association president, Atul Bhargava.

Shops selling decorative items and knick-knacks are one of the worst hit. While Kriti Creations, a chain of ornamental goods has slashed prices by 30 per cent, sales in Archies Gallery have fallen by as much as 25 to 30 per cent. “Customers are focusing on buying things that are of immediate need,” said Sharad Goyal, Kriti Creations.

Street food is as good

Roadside stalls and fast food outlets are doing better than restaurants. “In GK-1, Prince Pan and stalls that sells golgappes are experiencing the same rush, while footfall has come down in restaurants,” said Sharda.

“The habit of eating out cannot change. People will go out, but not spend as much,” said Unnat Varma, marketing director, KFC. Pizza Hut has seen a rise of around 8 per cent in footfall in the last month.

Meanwhile, restaurants have dramatically slashed prices for New Year meals in order to attract more customers.

The big auto sale

The automobile industry is going all out to offer year-end discounts. Ford has slashed the price of Fiesta (petrol model) by Rs 91,000. Maruti, Hyundai, General Motors, Honda and Tata Motors too have introduced generous schemes.

“We have brought down the price of Honda City by Rs 28,000,” said Harish Khurana, a sales and finance executive at Metropolitan Mall, Saket. SK Pandey, sales manager with Maruti, said they were offering nearly Rs 50,000 discount on Wagon R and business was good.