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The decision to demonetise Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes from Tuesday midnight to fight black money menace seems to have hit individual shops and restaurants more than the larger set-ups like malls in Mumbai. Most retail stores and restaurants have placed a notice at their entrances, declaring their compliance with the government’s order and requesting customers to tender notes of Rs 100 denomination or use e-wallets, credit and debit cards for any purchase. This led to fall in footfalls.
“We got a lot of customers who were paying with 500 and 1,000 rupee notes but we refused to accept them. As a result business has taken a considerable hit. We haven’t even done one-fourth of our usual business all day,” said Dawood Ansari, store manager at an Adidas outlet in Inorbit mall, Malad.
“Retail has taken a hit. We have received considerably less customers today,” said Shabbir Sheikh, an employee at Crosswords store in Inorbit Mall. However, a few stores were undeterred by the government’s move and reported business as usual.
“We have generated a business of Rs 2 lakh since the morning and only Rs 1,800 out of that was transacted in cash. Rest was all paid in credit and debit cards. Ninety per cent of our customers carry cards and hence are not facing much trouble. Stand-alone shops, like the Central in Dahisar would have been affected,” said Sarfaraz Qureshi, store manager at Central, Oberoi mall in Goregaon. Meanwhile, PVR reduced their ticket prices following the discontinuation of higher denomination notes.
“We have reduced our ticket prices to Rs 100 and Rs 110 for all our shows till Friday after the Prime Minister’s order. We have done this for the convenience of our customers who want to pay in cash,” said Ankush Gawade, marketing executive at PVR Oberoi. Despite this measure the cinema hall has had lesser crowds on Thursday, Gawade added.
PVR Pheonix in Lower Parel too has lowered its ticket prices to Rs 150 for shows after 5 pm on Thursday, according to duty manager Sweni Desai. Stand-alone shops and local grocery stores have felt a much more pronounced effect of the move.
At Janata, restro bar in Pali Hill, a notice had been put up stating that they were “not accepting old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes.” According to the manager, they had stopped accepting such notes soon after the Prime Minister’s announcement. “People were coming in soon after the announcement ordering just a soft drink so they could get change,” said the manager who did not wish to be quoted.
Manish Kore, who is a staff member at Pali Village Cafe, said no bookings had come in since the announcement.
“There are no bookings. On Tuesday night, as soon as the announcement was made, we started requesting our customers to pay by cash. On Wednesday, any customers walking in are being informed that we are not accepting Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes,” he said.
Jai Hind restaurant does not have a swiping machine and said business was down owing to this. “We are not taking home delivery orders also unless people have Rs 100 cash notes,” said Datta, the cashier at the restaurant.
Agnes Kinny, assistant manager at The Shop, said that they were following the same policy. “In the morning, a group of foreigners came to shop but were told that we were only accepting cards or Rs 100 notes. They left without buying anything. Our head office in Delhi has told us that if there is a large order, we should inform them and they will take a decision in the matter,” she said.
A kirana shop in the area also said that they were not accepting the banned notes and did not have a swiping machine. “If they don’t have change we are sending them back,” said Narendra Bhai, who owns Shah Ratanji Veerji.
However, some local groceries are still accepting cash from their regular customers.
“How else will we do business? For now, we are accepting 500 and 1,000 rupee notes from our known and regular customers,” said Ramesh Sirvi, an employee at a grocery store in Kandivli East.