The streets don’t look as crowded as they should at this time of the year; people are thinking twice about splurging this season; the meltdown has made People Like Us tighten our purse strings.
That’s what you think.
But, honestly, that’s not the case. Diwali shopping may not have gained full momentum so far but shoppers are well on their way to spending for some festive cheer.
Business as usual
At most city malls, the sights are the same — there’s no rush to buy, but a steady stream of shoppers are more than happy to indulge themselves. Just as on any other normal day — this year, last year or even the year before.
While salaried employees feel that the financial downturn hasn’t really affected them, it’s the businessmen who really feel the pinch. “Ever since the stocks plummeted, my wife and I decided to go easy on the spending. She isn’t buying those designer saris — which cost over Rs 10,000 — that she normally would. Instead, she’s saving up for something really nice,” says businessman Himanshu Bansal.
Business is normal at most cinemas also. Good films mean 100 per cent collections while bad ones get one screening a day. “Kidnap has done quite well and is into its third week; Hello has exactly two shows a day. Some movies not doing well does not mean PVR makes losses,” says an official.
He adds that people flocking to movie theatres seem to have no problems with buying an additional bucket of popcorn either.
For film aficionados, rising ticket prices is hardly a reason to give the latest film a miss. “Whether it’s Rs 165 for a ticket or Rs 225, I’d like to see the latest flick on the cinema screen rather than waiting for its DVD,” says homemaker Renuka Agarwal.
Her friend Vineeta Saxena can’t wait to see the first-day-first-shows of Diwali releases like Roadside Romeo or even Dostana. “Watching a movie is a part of our lives, so no financial downturn will stop me from going to the theatres.”