This time, not a ‘happy’ Diwali for retailers and publishers

Pratip AcharyaUpdated: Sunday, October 27, 2019, 01:52 AM IST
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Mumbai: Due to the ongoing economic slowdown and election season, the publishers are facing a dilemma. As banks, business institutions and political parties are trying hard to advertise on the Diwali issues of every magazines, the proportion of advertisements have dropped by at least 50 per cent.

Publishing houses of literary digests which brings out special “Diwali editions” stated, this time there is a slowdown in business as the builders and retailers have stopped from advertising. Due to the assembly elections, the publishers have also faced a dip in the demand of advertisement from government and political parties.

Retailers have also stated, due to the emergence of online advertisements over social media platforms, advertisements in the magazines and newspapers have taken a back seat.

“Nowadays people hardly advertise with literary editions, they prefer online advertisement as they are more personalised,” stated Dilip Chavan, marketing head of the publishing house of a Reader’s Digest.

“In the Diwali issues, builders, cooperative banks and jewellers widely advertise, but due to the completion of three years of demonetization and Goods and Service Tax (GST) there is a slowdown in the business,” he added.

He also informed, this year the slowdown is lesser, compared to the last two years. The heavy floods of western Maharashtra are also one of the diminishing factors of the advertisements.

While in the Dadar market, the traditional decorative items, such as lanterns, diyas and sweets, continue to enjoy demand, but it is jewellery shops that feel the pinch. They believe in the long term, if such economic crisis continue, along with increasing competition from online portals, their business will soon lead to closure.

“Due to the rise in price of gold, the demand has already sunk this time and with the digital platforms giving cheap alternatives, our business is facing loss,” said Ajitesh More, second generation proprietor of a 52 year old jewellery shop in Dadar.

Also jewellery shop owners stated, following the PMC Bank shut down, many buyers have turned towards gold for investments.

“Gold and real estate are considered to be safer investment options that fetch a good price in the market. We had started witnessing customers flux ahead of Dhanteras.” added Mahesh Soni, a Dadar-based Jeweller.

Gold prices ruled at around Rs 39,000 per 10 gram on this Diwali and Dhanteras season.

Meanwhile, lifestyle retail stores are also going through turmoil, as opposed to last year, people are being very particular about what they buy, and also, uncertainty in the market has further affected the sales.

“Reduced sales will negatively affect store employees as they will not get their incentives if monthly targets are not achieved,” Samir Shaikh, store manager of a leading clothing chain.

Sales are also down at the dry fruit shops of crawford market, Ravindra Pillai a manager of dry fruit chain stated, sells had dropped by almost 50 per cent this year.

“Customers are buying smaller gifts and in lesser quantity than last Diwali. People prefer to buy gift boxes under Rs 500 this year and are avoiding from bulk ordering,” he said.

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