Sports shop open for business at FC road, during the lockdown, in Pune, India, on Saturday, May 30, 2020.(Ravindra Joshi/ HT)
Sports shop open for business at FC road, during the lockdown, in Pune, India, on Saturday, May 30, 2020.(Ravindra Joshi/ HT)

Pune’s sports equipment industry locked down, but not locked out

There are around 150 specialised sports equipment shops in Pune, PCMC area and 500-600 shops that sell generic sports items
Hindustan Times, Pune | By Jigar Hindocha, Pune:
UPDATED ON JUN 01, 2020 05:36 PM IST

The months of March, April, and May are peak season for the sports equipment industry, however, businesses in the city may have incurred massive losses due to the Covid-19 pandemic, according to Champion Sports shop owner Amit Madan.

There are around 150 specialised sports equipment shops in Pune, PCMC area and over 500-600 shops that keep specific sports items.

“I think looking at the number of shops around Pune, our industry has suffered a loss of around Rs 1 crore,” Madan said. “Sports shops will still take time to witness normal customer footfall. Currently, we don’t have any plans on how we will increase our sales. First, let things become normal, then only can we decide. Right now generally people are buying yoga mats, skipping ropes and few weights for fitness,” added Madan.

With businesses opening up last week, sports shops continue to be deserted since sporting activities are yet to resume in the city.

“When lockdown was announced it was the start of the swimming season, summer camps, visit to aqua parks and regular swimmers. All these add to a lot of sale of swimming equipment which adds good amount of money but unfortunately it did not happen,” explains Nitin Khurana of Maharashtra Sales and Cooperations who has a wholesale business of sports equipment in Raviwar peth.

During summer, swimming and cricket equipment has the most demand. “Cricket camps across the city almost double up the sale of cricket equipment. And now with rainy season approaching, the focus shifts on football, but I think football season will also be dull this time,” added Khurana.

Demand for carrom boards

In the ongoing lockdown, there has been a big demand for carrom boards but they are not easily available in the market.

“Carrom boards are not made in machines, it is a hand-made product. Since workers are not available or are in lesser number, there has been a shortage of boards. The sale of other boards like ludo, chess, snake ladder have also gone up across the city,” said Khurana.

Shortage of customers

With businesses opening up last week, sports shops continue to be deserted since sporting activities are yet to resume in the city.

“Generally, there are 10 customers at a time keep on asking for different sports equipment but now there is only one customer. Sports shops will still take time to get their normal number of customers back,” said Amit Madan owner of Champion Sports, Deccan Gymkhana.

“Currently we don’t have any plans on how we will increase our sales. First let things become normal then only we can decide. Right now generally people are buying yoga mats, skipping ropes and few weights for fitness” added Madan.

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