Day 2: Most shops in Noida markets wear deserted lookUpdated: May 22, 2020 23:03 IST
Even as the city markets have reopened after a gap of almost two months, most shops are largely wearing a deserted look, with only the electronics stores emerging as an exception.
On Friday, the second day of market reopening based on odd-even pattern, a number of shops, including the garment shops, at the city’s major marketplaces -- Atta market, Sector 18 and Sector 16 auto market -- wore a deserted look.
While the traders are prepared for the slow recovery of the market, they also give restrictive timings for opening the shops and sealed state borders as one of the major reasons for low customer turnout.
“A number of shop owners, staff and customers come to this area from Delhi. For an instance, the customers who live in Mayur Vihar and neighbouring areas prefer buying from Sector 18 rather than going to Delhi markets. Also, half of Noida is locked down and the timings are restrictive. So, there are a number of reasons for the low turnout,” said Sushil Kumar Jain, president, Sector 18 market association.
Stating that full recovery may take around a year, Jain believes that the market will start recovering from the first week of June. “There are several issues, but we hope that the situation will improve within 10 to 15 days. Every businessman has suffered during the pandemic. However, we are thankful that the markets are now allowed to be open,” Jain added.
Some traders, however, also claimed that their business never halted as they kept getting demands from several old customers and they had to operate through godowns. Such traders further said that with market properly opening they can resume the business without any issues.
“The business in not so bad and we hope for a speedy recovery. A number of customers have been coming in to buy air conditioners, coolers, refrigerators, etc. Even during the lockdown, several customers had approached us for buying goods like AC and other electronics items and we had to deliver those through godowns. However, that was risky. Now, since the markets are officially open, the risk factor has gone,” said an electronics shop owner at Sector 18 market, who did not want to be named.
As traders have to shut their shops by 7pm – which happens to be the time after which business starts to pick up during the summer season, shopkeepers believe the restriction on timings is another reason for low footfall.
“Customers have started coming in for buying goods. We hope that business would recover soon. It would obviously take some time, as the odd-even is a bit confusing. The customers don’t know if the shop of the goods they are going to buy would be open or not in the first place,” said Gopal Maheshwari, another electronics shop owner, who had a good number of customers enquiring about different summer products.
While pharmacy shops were anyways allowed to be open, those in Sector 18 market said that since Thursday the footfall has increased.
“We specialise in health products. Though we were open earlier, the footfall was negligible because our shop happens to be in Sector 18. From yesterday, however, customers have started to visit the market,” said Ravi, who runs a shop selling health supplement products at the Sector 18 market.
Ranbir Tanwar, a garment shop owner at Atta, hopes that things will recover soon.
“Right now there are a very few customers in the market because shops won’t open in the evening. And chances of customers taking a stroll through the market in such warm weather in the afternoon are negligible. Have you ever seen Atta market so deserted? But this is all temporary, and things will soon recover,” said Tanwar.
The Sector 16 auto market wore deserted look as well with only a handful of shops repairing and servicing cars while most of the market remained closed.