Sankranti festival is the most awaited time of the year when festive shopping kicks off. Customers shop till they drop and businessmen get busy counting the moolah. In view of the rising footfalls, all kinds of retailers in Visakhapatnam are stocking up their shelves with bigger, better, brighter goods and thereby doing brisk business.
The city’s shopping malls erupted in a festive frenzy on Sunday as young faces looking for the latest fashion picks headed to the shopping hubs in droves. Many were, however, spotted without masks. Quite a few were wearing masks but those were hanging around their ears or below their chins. Public health experts have again and again been stressing the need to wear masks and sanitize hands to prevent Covid-19 infection.
The parking lots at many shopping malls were chock-a-block on Sunday afternoon. The restaurants at the mall, too, did brisk business as people stepped in for some sip and bite after a round of shopping. A steady stream of cars, two-wheelers, and app cabs was seen making its way towards the CMR mall opposite judge court Road on Sunday afternoon, slowing down traffic. The guards at the main entrance to the mall asked visitors without masks to wear one.
The bling and glamour are back. People are going for the latest designs and fashion. While the housewives are busy getting their favorite Anarkalis stitched the teenagers are going gaga over the fresh stock of tunics Shailja has bought for her store for the festive season. Seema is the owner of a two-year-old boutique and is very happy with the festive sales. Her boutique at MVP Colony has high-end designer suits and tunics ranging between Rs 7,000 and Rs 25,000. Her shop has witnessed a 30 percent rise in footfalls. Apart from this, orders from other districts are also pouring in.
SHOPPING @ MALLS
The festive season shopping that started almost 20 days back is expected to go on till the end of Telugu New Year said most of the shop owners. RK Shopping Mall at daba gardens too has seen a 20 percent increase in its business so far. “Most of the shops have a special festive season discount between 10 percent and 15 percent. The rush is an advantage to other shops in the mall as well, like restaurants and of course Bioscope. Shoppers end the day with a movie,” said Chandana, a women entrepreneur who deals with designer sarees in online from Seethammadhara.
“During the rest of the year I would close my book of accounts each day with sales between Rs 15,000 and Rs 25,000 but now my sales are between Rs 30,000 and Rs 40,000 a day, my profit figure has obviously shot up and the sole reason is not increasing of profit margin but doubling of sales volume,” said Rama Rao, a small garment shop owner in Pandupulla Street near Poorna Market.
The entire stretch of Daba gardens to Poorna market is chock-a-block with shoppers, making a beeline for the stores. With special discounts are in place in almost all showrooms, the festive season seems to have brought smiles to the store owners, who were badly affected due to the COVID-19. In total, shopping malls Jagadamba Junction, Gopalapatnam, Dwaraka Nagar, and Gajuwaka have been abuzz with activity for the last two days.
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