Over the past few weeks, despite a rise in Covid cases, markets across the capital have been witnessing an increase in footfall. Traders attributed this to Navratri which began on October 17 and Diwali next month, the upcoming wedding season, as well as consumers adapting to the ‘new normal’.
“Things are definitely getting better, with more and more people coming to markets like Connaught Place to shop for the past 15 days or so, especially during weekends,” said Atul Bhargava, president of the New Delhi Traders’ Association.
“Moreover, since Connaught Place is an open area, many people are heading out with caution… they are tired of being at home for the past few months. At shops as well, we are following measures such as wearing masks and carrying out thermal checking,” he added.
At the Lajpat Nagar market, the last two weekends witnessed near normal footfall and consumer sentiment, said Ashwani Marwah, general secretary of the Traders’ Association of Lajpat Nagar.
“Consumer sentiments are close to normal, and has definitely picked up a lot since the Unlock period. Consumers are buying new clothes and household items, decorations for festivals and gift items. Business suffered in the past few months but we are happy to see that things are getting back to normal now; it gets crowded during the weekends too. Shops are following all precautions that have been prescribed,” he said.
At Chandni Chowk, meanwhile, wedding shopping has picked up.
“For the past few weeks, the market has seen shopping for weddings that were cancelled during the lockdown months as well as upcoming weddings slated for the November-December season. Consumer sentiment has continuously picked up,” said Sanjay Bhargava, general secretary, Chandni Chowk Vyapar Mandal.
However, he said, the market has not seen many festival shoppers. “Due to the liquidity crisis in the market perhaps, festival shopping isn’t happening like it used to. However, sari and lehenga shops and other wedding-related businesses are doing well,” said Bhargava.
At Khan Market, traders’ association president Sanjiv Mehra said, “We are witnessing more footfall. Due to the festival season, many people are buying puja items and such. But sale of electronic gift items has not picked up; restaurants are not doing so well either.”
He said that due to the decrease in purchasing power amid the Covid economic slowdown, it may take a while for the sentiment to come close to being comparable to last year. “Still, we are definitely in a better position since before,” said Mehra.
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