Near-empty arcade at New Market, Bhopal.
Near-empty arcade at New Market, Bhopal.
File photo

BHOPAL: The spread of the coronavirus, which has been grabbing headlines recently, is also impacting footfalls in the markets. The footfalls in the markets declined by 25 per cent due to the increasing number of corona cases. Window-shoppers and those idle visitors who used to visit just to pass their time — and, maybe, do a little impulse-buying — have totally stopped visiting the markets. This has led to a sharp fall in the rush in marketplaces. Traders, too, have realised that the second wave of corona has had an impact on the market. However, overall business has not been affected so far.

At one time, even the traders used to demand that the police should control the rush as idle visitors used to contribute to unnecessary crowding in the markets. But, now, it is quite a relief for the traders as the overwhelming surge has eased. Traders hope that, if this trend continues, the decline in footfalls is likely to continue further.

The administration, too, has stepped in and taken strict action, such as imposing fines and making masks mandatory for customers, as well as shopkeepers. Even traders have become strict towards unruly visitors as far as adherence to corona protocols is concerned. Such strictness has put a pause on the rush of visitors. Only genuine customers are visiting the shops. That holds true for shops selling wedding items, too, as the wedding season is approaching and people are visiting these shops to buy items essential for the ceremony.

‘People are conscious’

"The footfalls have reduced in the market. Now, only actual customers are visiting our shops. People have stopped visiting markets for idling their time. The wedding season is approaching, so, people are visiting with a purpose and trying to finish marketing as early as possible. They, too, don’t want to stay for a long time in the market. This is the impact that the coronavirus has had on the market. Due to the increasing number of corona cases, the people, themselves, aren’t visiting the markets. They’re trying to avoid it," said Ajay Dewnani, general secretary, New Market Businessmen’s Association.

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