IN THE wake of stiff competition posed by booming shopping malls and heavy discounts being offered on a platter on online shopping sites, retailers of MG Road are coming up with a unique initiative—a midnight shopping bonanza—to increase the footfall and boost the sales during the upcoming festive season. For the first time, nearly 70 per cent of the 400-odd retailers in Pune Camp area have planned a special sale and decided to keep their shops open from 9 pm to midnight over three weekends this month.
“Today the shopping areas are facing stiff competition from the big malls and online shopping sites, which has prompted us to take this decision. We need newer ideas to compete with them. Hence, mostly all the retailers will be participating in this sale that will take place on three Saturdays— December 12, 19 and 26,” said Parag Shah, additional chairman of Pune Camp Merchants Association (PCMA).
Bringing back the glory of ‘traditional shopping’ is the objective behind the exercise, said Milind Mehta, who runs ‘The Sound Factor’, and is a committee member of PCMA. Plans are afoot to bring some additional value for the customers, he said. “We have planned that besides the regular offers that the stores provide, for these three nights, the shops will offer discounts that they have never offered before, during these hours. We will be offering lot of freebies and free parking. Besides this, we have also planned to keep some free entertainment for customers, like free horse rides etc,” he said.
Banners and posters regarding the sale will be put up outside every shop by this weekend, said Murtuza Poonawala, committee member, PCMA.
“Besides the offers, we are trying to put up a food court where we will have food vans coming in, though the feasibility is being worked out,” he said.
When contacted Sarang Awhad, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Traffic) said, he has not been approached by the merchants association so far. “No one has contacted us yet,” he said.
The Pune Cantonment Board (PCB) authorities too said that they had not received any letter notifying them about any change in timings.