Three days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement of demonetising Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, major establishments, markets and prominent city malls had to bore the brunt with 50-60% drop in footfall of customers at stores, movie halls and food courts. Parking lots, stores, food court and movie counter at Alpha Mall and Trillium Mall hardly had any visitors.
THEATRES AWAIT MOVIE BUFFS
“Rush at movie counters was heavily affected by the discontinuance of higher denomination notes, and even the new boxoffice releases failed to pull the crowd back,” said an employee at Trillium Mall, on condition of anonymity.
“In Amritsar, the decline is evident as people here are movie enthusiasts. Even during weekdays, we have students rushing in for morning shows. But in the past two days, there is very less footfall and majority of the movie audi’s are vacant. There is only 30-40% occupancy, that too of people who booked tickets online,” he added.
CARD-HOLDERS have no problem
A few people who visited the mall were those who could shop using their debit/credit cards.
A customer, Karanbir Singh, said, “I was here to pick a pair of jean and sunglasses; and I could buy them because I have cards to support me. But for people who are dependent only on cash, shopping is out of question at this hour.”
“I have never seen such dull footfall at this mall, Trillium is one place that has rush in the morning as well as in the evening, especially at food courts. But currency discontinuance and unavailability of enough exchange notes at banks is surely a setback to all sections of society,” he added.
MERE 20% OCCUPANCY AT PARKING LOTS
In markets and shopping malls, there was only 10-20% vehicular occupancy in the parking lots. Staff and security guards on duty were not happy with the decline as they feel that it will affect their salaries this month.
ATMs SHUT, TOURIST FACE INCONVENIENCE
At Alpha Mall, the footfall has fallen drastically. Notably, even at the hyper city markets, very few people were seen and they too were ones who had plastic money (cards).
Many complained that Rss 2,000 note will not solve the black money issue.
They added that the distribution and availability of new `500 notes and lower denomination notes needs to be
“Alpha Mall has huge rush on weekdays as well as weekends, all round the year. It also has tourists pouring in all the time, but in the past few days, there is a drastic dip in the number of visitors,” said a manager at Alpha Mall.
The dip is majorly at apparel counters and food counters. There is a 70 % decline in the business overall,” he added.
SIMILAR SITUATION AT PATHANKOT
The demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes has caused a decline in the footfall at big malls and cinema halls, where a meagre presence is being seen since the announcement by PM Modi. Business is severely affected at shopping centres, markets, stores, cinema halls, parking lots, etc.
Viewers seem to be busy in exchanging old currency notes and arranging for small currency notes, said a cinema hall employee. He added that in the last three days, purchase of tickets is nearly negligible.
A local movie enthusiast Vishal Arora said, “I am running short of money due to the rush at banks. I withdrew low denomination currency but the scenario is such that I cannot spend it on watching films.”
A shop owner, Suresh Kumar, said that he is facing huge losses due to less rush of customers. The situation will come back to normal, but it will definitely take time for new notes of `500 to be available.