Bhopal: Dhanteras cheers up market; sales up

Market picked up on Dhanteras that marks the official beginning of the five days long Diwali festival. Dhanteras, considered auspicious day for buying gold, silver and other valuables, cheered the traders as business on the day is expected to cross Rs 500 crore. Goods ranging from puja articles, utensils, jewellery, apparels, automobiles, electronic goods, witnessed fairly good sales on the Monday. Though the gold rate is on a higher side, however, shoppers thronged Jewellery shops throughout the day hoping to get the best bargains.

Utensil market also recorded huge turnout on the day. Shops were lined with a wide array of kitchen utensils to attract the shoppers. Electronic goods outlets also witnessed good footfall as people queued up to purchase household appliances, mobile handsets, laptops etc.

Businessmen, however, decried that on-line shopping has robbed off charm of local market. Till now e-commerce has been about relatively homogenous metro buyers, relatively high-income and voracious internet users. Now the market is rapidly expanding beyond the first 100 million e-commerce buyers. The socio-economic demographics are now spread over a wider spectrum.

E-commerce companies gave stiff competition to brick and mortar stores and retailers offering attractive offers and deals. Electronic gadgets, kitchen appliances, mobiles, fashion apparels, household articles sold like hot cakes online this year. Besides the competition from online market, businessmen blamed the increasing prices of decorative and festive essentials for a dampened sale year after year. New Market Businessmen Association president Satish Gangarade said, “Market witnessed good business on Dhateras.

New Market has made nit and clean and spacious so more and more shoppers are trouping. Nobody is placing large gift orders anymore” is a common sentiment resonating among local sellers.” Utensil business man Rakesh Singh said, “Online market has entirely killed the sales.Earlier we would get large pre-Diwali orders of various items like cookers, tiffin sets, but now nobody is looking for such big orders.

They only buy one or two items like spoons, steel plates, or bowls.” 10-number businessman Prabhunath said that they had reasonable sales. “We have to keep the price reasonable so that it doesn’t burden customers. Actually, increasing prices of commodities are troubling common man. Essential puja articles like idols of deity are taxable, camphor, which is important for Diwali rituals, is selling with 18 per cent GST. Earlier we had to pay only 5 per cent VAT on it.”

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