This Christmas, festive shopping across the Capital has been significantly subdued. It’s not just inflation that’s keeping shoppers away. Shopkeepers say the Mumbai terror attacks have affected the popular mood.
“The morale of consumers is low. They are not in a mood to celebrate. Most of our customers would be foreign tourists. However, as several countries have issued travel advisories against visiting India, there are fewer buyers,” said Sanjay Sethi, who runs a wholesale shop in Khan Market.
Delhi Catholic Archdiocese has also requested the city’s Christian community to tone down Christmas celebrations in remembrance of riot victims in Kandhamal.
All of these factors have led to falling sales, which have caused shopkeepers to dramatically slash prices.
Sethi said sales at Khan Market, a popular Christmas shopping destination, are down by 75 per cent. “Due to the downturn, customers are less willing to spend on knickknacks and ornaments, which they do not need.”
However, that is not the only reason. Most decorative items, such as electronic Santas (Rs 6,000 to Rs 7,000) and Christmas trees (Rs 800 onwards) were usually bought by hotels. But after the Taj and Oberoi hotels were targeted on 26/11, many hotels have canceled parties and celebrations.
“Due to the falling sales, we have cut prices by as much as 50 per cent. A three-foot tree, which sold for Rs 175 last year, is now going for Rs 99,” said Sharad Goyal of Kriti Creations, a chain of shops selling Christmas ornaments.