SHOPPERS KEPT the cash tills ringing in the City throughout the day on Dhanteras, the first day of festival of lights. From roadside kiosks to swanky mall outlets, traders did brisk business on this auspicious day and even a brief spell of rain failed to mar the festive spirit.
Cars, two-wheelers, consumer durables and utensils were in great demand. However, business was a little subdued in Sarafa Market, the City’s gold and silver jewellery hub. Indore Sarafa Traders Association president Hukumchand Soni attributed the relatively lower sales to overwhelming response during Pushya Nakshatra, which fell on Sunday this year. “Although the crowd was good, sales fell by 25-30 per cent this year as compared to last Dhanteras,” he said.
Even as gold lost some of its lustre this year, automobile sales revved up so much so that many models and colours were unavailable in some of the showrooms by late evening. Data collected from various dealers show that over 650 cars were sold in a single day with aggregate sales of Rs 26 crore. Maruti dealer Patel Motors’ Deputy General Manager (Marketing) Atul Sharma told Hindustan Times that they ran out of Alto model by late evening. “We sold 151 cars on Thursday, a growth of over 50 per cent over last year,” he said.
Consumer durables were another hot sector this festive season. Although exact figures were not available, exclusive showrooms like Lotus, e-Zone and e-Mall witnessed huge rush on Dhanteras. “Contrary to the perception about plasma and LCD TVs, the customer focus this year was more on mass products like frost-free refrigerators,” says Salian Santosh, branch manager of LG Electronics. “Our dealer feedback is that sales during the entire festive season were better than last year although there was no jump in sales for Dhanteras.”
Bartan Bazaar witnessed huge rush throughout the day with total business for the day estimated at Rs 6 crore. Although entry for vehicles was banned, the sheer number of shoppers was enough to cause a jam and harried customers heckled each other to gain entry into shops. Traders said high prices of precious metals might have influenced more people to go for utensils to make their token purchase on this auspicious day.