Western disturbances (WDs) originating from Mediterranean Sea and hitting lower latitudes in April have disturbed the commercial plans of air conditioners (AC) sellers in Punjab and parts of Northern India. At a time when dealers and distributors of ensure a good stock of ACs as consumers queue up to buy the machines to beat the heat,the pleasant weather has landed them into trouble.
While in the previous seasons,four western disturbances had hit in April on an average,this year,seven WDs had hit India last month. And rather unusually,these had hit the lower latitudes causing rains and storms. The WDs hit lower attitudes mostly in January and February,said a Met department official.
In such a situation,against the previous seasons seeing 40 to 50 per cent of ACs being sold in April,the sales this time have not even touched the 10 per cent mark. The lucrative schemes offered to the consumers are not helping either. We are offering scratch cards assuring a gift ranging from Rs 500 to Rs 4,000. Then there is a monthly lucky draw for a gift worth Rs 5,000 and a mega lucky draw after three months with a car as bumper prize. Despite that sales have not picked up, said Manohar Verma,sales manager of Next Showroom at Ranjit Avenue in Amritsar.
He added: By April end,40 to 50 per cent ACs meant for the entire season are sold. This time,the sales have just been 10 per cent. It appears that winters have set in again.
M P Singh Sethi,who owns Bawa Electronics,echoed the same. A full-fledged sale of ACs was expected in April but the unusual weather has affected the sale by 90 per cent. ACs are being purchased only to be gifted during weddings. Every brand is offering lucrative offers,but the costs to keep the stock are so high that the offers become meaningless in the wake of almost no sales. It has been raining every evening for the last 10 days in Amritsar. The weather is so cool that people are not even using fans.
With 45.2 mm rainfall,Amritsar had recorded over six times more rainfall in April this year,as compared to 7.5 mm rainfall in April,2011. When contacted,Chandigarh Meteorological Centre Director Surinder Pal said: The forecast for the first week of May suggest that WDs would continue to hit the region.