Shoppers flock season-end sales
Anil Jerath

Season-end sales have brought smiles on faces of Phagwara residents. With every fourth showroom in the city offering discounts, residents are flocking to shopping complex to make the most of the summer sales with the will-shop-till-I drop attitude.

After all, expensive brands could be yours for half the price. Says Manju Chawla, a housewife, spotted coming out of a showroom in Bansanwala Bazar with some bags. “My budget does not allow me to buy brand things on a regular basis. So, I wait for the end of season sales. That way my domestic budget too remains stable.”

Is the off-season stuff of use in the coming season? “It might not be useful now, but definitely I won’t need to buy the same things at full cost next summer. I call it smart shopping,” says Sanjana, a cyber café owner. Jawinder, a travel agency executive near Cinema Road, feels that products like jeans, shoes, shirts are not bound by seasonal limitations.

“I buy such garments at half the price during the sale and wear them throughout the year. I don’t think one should think twice before splurging wisely at the end of season sales,” she says.

City-based retailers have witnessed increase in sales, as their members under the loyalty clubs are providing the much-needed thrust to their business.

Vinay Gulati, owner of a readymade garments shop on the Katehra Chowk, informs, “It acts as a bonus for those who are into heavy shopping. We do give privilege cards to such customers.

This trend of owning privilege cards or being members of such clubs is picking up in the city. In our total sales, the contribution of customers is 10 per cent.”

Vinay feels additional benefits like gift vouchers, special cards on birthdays and anniversaries, along with offers designed especially for the members, attract customers to come back to the retail outlets.

Such added advantages form part of strategy that aims at attracting more and more customers and make them brand loyal.

“The scheme has been helpful in increasing business as our trading has gone up by 30 per cent, says Ramesh from New Era, where privilege club offers discounts, guest sales, gifts on special days, invitation for various activities and value additions at various lifestyle outlets. Those who shop for more than Rs 2,500 enjoy these benefits.

Nancy Pahuja, a government employee, disagrees. “The sale mania burns a big hole in the pocket. Besides, old styles and sometimes bad stuff is up for sale, which is why I stay away from sales.”

No shopkeeper puts up a sale at a loss. Surinder Bhatia, owner, Bhatia Cloth House, agrees. “We have to clear stocks.

Next year will bring new products and we have to cut down prices to such a level that neither we suffer loss nor earn a huge profit.” 



Free ticket offer by Ebony
Tribune News Service

Ebony has launched an offer, “Free return air ticket”, for its customers. Under the scheme, every person, who shops for a minimum value of Rs 5,000, will be entitled to a free return air ticket to the destination of his choice.

The offer that gives the customer a choice of 15 destinations of his choice is valid till October 24.

Lecture held

The CT Institute of Management and Information Technology has organized a guest lecture on marketing management.

In his address to MBA students, Mr Bernie Ryder from the University of East, UK, explained strategies for international business and skills required for a marketing executive.

He insisted on understanding the real concept of marketing that satisfy the needs of a buyer.

Sports meet

A weeklong sports meet, organised by the St Soldier Education Society, concluded at Master Rajkumar Auditorium here on October 14.

Arjuna awardee (basketball) Sajjan Singh, who was the chief guest, gave away prizes to winner of athletics, basketball, kho-kho, volleyball and badminton.

Vet meeting

A general body meeting of the Association of Elite Veterinary Officers (retd) was held in Amritsar on Sunday under the chairmanship of Dr Sawinder Singh, a former Director, Animal Husbandry.

Delegates from various districts, including Amritsar, Hoshiarpur, Jalandhar, Nawanshahr, Ludhiana, Kapurthala, Bathinda and Patiala participated.

The delegates were informed that the association had taken up the case of pre-96 retiree officers with the government for the grant of pay scale of Rs 14,300 to Rs 18,600 for the post held last.

The case for the grant of selection grade to 47 officers had also been taken up with the government.

The association demanded the release of arrears of selection grade and ban of the use of diclofenac on the pattern of Haryana.



Cable operators look to counter DTH players
Neeraj Bagga

Cable operators are in no mood to give up their share in face of stiff competition from big players armed with sophisticated DTH technology. They want to compete with them in quality and rates. For this, they are preparing to turn to digital system from the analogous to counter claims of DTH players.

Mr Sarbjit Singh, MD, Hathway Sukh Amrit Cable and Data Com Private Ltd, said his Win Cable had switched over to the digital system in Jalandhar at a cost of Rs 6 crore. They offer 101 channels and three video games. The customers would not have to shell out extra rent for all these facilities. This system would next be introduced at Ludhiana and Chandigarh and turn of the holy city would after some months, he added.

The decision to upgrade technology was taken as about 78,000 DTH sets were sold in Punjab in September only.

Currently, Dish TV, Tata Sky and DD Direct are offering DTH in the local market. Cheapest of them is DD Direct, charging about Rs 2,100 for a set and presenting apart from its 19 channels, a package of free-to-air channels. Zee TV group supported Dish TV is offering two packages after charging one time advance ranging from Rs 2,600 to Rs 3,200. Rs 200 monthly rental would fetch 82 channels whereas Rs 375 would provide 160 channels.

Tata Sky, a joint venture of Tata Sons Limited and the British Sky Broadcasting group, is offering about 99 channels, including Zee, Star and Sony after initial payment of nearly Rs 4,550 and a monthly rental of Rs 200.  Mr Rakesh Gupta said significant features were available which no cable operator could provide, including facility to watch Live cricket match from four different angles. Besides, one can listen to commentary from any of the seven languages being offered made it a product with a difference.

However, local cable operators feel that they have an edge in other segments of the business as well. They charge monthly rental ranging from Rs 100 to Rs 300, depending upon the customers as civil line residential pay more and slum dwellers pay less.

Mr Ganesh Poddar, a cable operator here, feel that new films and local news are telecast on the local cable, which would not be available on the DTH service. For enjoying a new film, a DTH viewer has to pay extra money. Besides, for rectifying any anomaly in service a viewer has to pay for the visit of technicians of the company whereas cable operators are providing this service without any charge.



World postal week celebrations

As part of the World Postal Week celebrations the Department of Posts celebrated the philately day by way of conducting a painting competition on the theme of ‘Festivals India’ and philatelic quiz for school students. Sapna Dhiman of DAV bagged the first position in the painting competition followed by Hamrmeet Kaur from Government Model Senior Secondary School and Alisha Sandhu of DAV at the second and third place respectively.

The philatelic quiz contest winner was DAV school team of Ajachi Chakraborth and Akash Bansal and the second prize went to Guru Nanak Public School team comprising Anup Tuli and Karmandeep S Jawanda and DAV school team of Yatharth Sharma and Abhishek Sharma won the third prize. — TNS



Lack of awareness main cause of hearing loss
Our Correspondent

Lack of awareness about hearing disorders and available treatment is the main cause for a large number of patients leading miserable life without hearing.

Dr Karunesh Gupta, ENT specialist, is of the view that rapid development in the past few decades has enabled ENT surgeons to improve the quality of life of patients with such disorders.

His study points out that nearly one third of patients attending the ENT outdoor have varying levels of deafness. A number of factors have contributed to the rise of deafness.

A major cause amongst young people is exposure to loud sounds while listening to music using iPOds and MP3 players, disco and car music.

Apart from this, long standing exposure to loud industrial and traffic noises also contributes to the malady.

Irrational use of medicines, especially antibiotics in addition to aspirin and quinines, both by qualified and un-qualified practitioners also leads to ear toxicity, inducing deafness.

A rise in longevity in the country and consequential increase in number of

elderly people in our society demands special attention towards hearing needs of senior citizens, a factor hitherto ignored.

Dr Anil K. Monga informs that studies in school children in India mention that up to 6 per cent have ear discharge, a condition ignored by parents as inconsequential.

However this silent condition can lead to permanent hearing loss later in life. Ear discharge is also a common ailment amongst people belonging to the lower economic strata.

Hearing loss produced by such condition can be prevented and cured by timely intervention. Advanced surgery techniques can help reduce the number of such cases.

Technological advancements have helped ENT surgeons restore hearing to near normal. Introduction of cochlear implant, capable of making a child born deaf hear speech and sounds of the nature, has revolutionised ENT surgery in India.

Over 1000 cochlear implants had been performed in the country, he added. Initiatives taken by the government and professional association of ENT surgeons have helped bring down cost of this procedure.

It is high time to make laymen aware of these developments. He felt that ENT fraternity and media could be vital players in spreading awareness about prevention of deafness and mitigate suffering of these patients.



Punjab Agro to bring 4200 acres under hyola
P K Jaiswar

The Punjab Agro would bring 4200 acres of land in Amritsar district for cultivation of hyola under the contract farming system to help farmers come out of the wheat-paddy circle.

Mr Baljit Singh, Additional Deputy Commissioner, in a meeting organised to create awareness about crop diversification, said the state government was trying to enable farmers to face financial constraints by adopting crop diversification and come out of the wheat-paddy circle which was harming the state. He said the farmers were being encouraged to grow other crops, including sunflower, basmati and cereal crops.

The Additional Deputy Commissioner said Punjab Agro was committed to purchasing the crops sowed by the farmers on their advice. He said last year Punjab Agro purchased 2,000 quintals of hyola at Rs 1,715 per quintal.

Mr J. S. Ghuman, District Manager, Punjab Agro, said hyola could be sowed from October 7 to 10 while it is harvested from March 15. He said farmers interested in sowing hyola could purchase the seed from Punjab Agro office or other centres and get their name registered with the office so that their crop could be procured by them.



Industry enthused by PM’s offer
Our Correspondent

The business community here was buoyed by the mere announcement by the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, at Ludhiana that a Special Economic Package for the border districts of Punjab was under consideration.

The Chairman of the Punjab Regional Council of PHD Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Mr R.S Sachdeva, said the entire industry was awaiting the government’s initiative to give concession at par with the states like Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttaranchal.

He said the industry in the border region was on the verge of closure. 



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