As the wedding season approaches, Subhash Lane near Thane railway station is usually bustling with shoppers.
Things however are unusually quiet in this lane at present, due to the demonetisation of currency. People are falling short of cash to splurge on wedding fineries. Traders along the lane have estimated business falling by over fifty percent this wedding season since the demonetisation announcement.
The Subhash Road market is older than famous Gokhale Road or Ram Maruti Road markets. More than three generations own a shop along this road.
Rahul Vadhan, owner of Bansari Sarees, said, “Business is down by 50 percent as compared to the last few years. This year, there are many auspicious wedding dates and we were hoping for more business post Diwali, however the demonetisation has put us in losses. Our sales increase by 100 to 200 percent during this time of the year. Very few of our clients who pay through cards,and a major chunk prefer to pay in cash. We are not able to give change to everyone, nor do people have enough cash to pay in case of major wedding shopping.”
Another trader,Bharat Mota, who owns the Mister Men’s ethnic store said, “We sell wedding outfits for grooms. The business of every trader along this road is down by 40 to 50 percent. However, we support the demonetisation decision, and are also trying to ensure that customers do not have to suffer.”
Mota said that most traders have cut down the booking amount of wedding outfits to accommodate clients. “We used to take fifty percent of the total cost of the outift as the booking amount, as it needs to be stitched as per the fit. We are now accepting amounts as meagre as Rs1000 to 2000, so that people do not have to suffer.”
Sales of electronics have also been affected. Owner of Mac electronics, Haresh Gala,also expressed of facing almost 40 percent in losses. “Gifting of electronic goods like watches, mobiles or television is common in weddings. This year owing to cash crunch, we do not have much demand for them.”
Road widening adding to the woes
The traders of Subhash Road had already faced loss of business during the widening of this road before monsoon undertaken by the Thane Municipal Corporation. Vadhan added, “Most of us had to give a portion of our shops for the widening and had to renovate or repair it. The business was low due to these activities. We had hoped that we could make up for the losses during the wedding season and thus were awaiting it. However with demonetisation, these hopes too are crushed. We do support the move of the central government, but there should be some relief for that common man.”
Auspicious Wedding dates
November: 11, 12, 15, 16, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27
December: 3, 8, 9, 12, 13, 14
January: 15, 16, 17, 20, 22, 23
February: 1, 2, 13, 14, 16, 21, 23, 28
March: 1, 4, 5, 6, 10, 11, 13