Rohtak cloth market sees 70% dip in sales

Rohtak cloth market sees 70% dip in sales

Shouri cloth market wears a deserted look in Rohtak.

Ravinder Saini

Tribune News Service

Rohtak, June 21

Shouri cloth market, one of the biggest in Asia, has witnessed 70 per cent drop in sales after the lockdown due to Covid and inadequate transportation facility.

The market, established in 1951, has over 1,200 shops of wholesale and retail and clothes are supplied to Rajasthan, Delhi, west Uttar Pradesh and across Haryana from here. Traders from Ahmedabad, Surat, Mumbai, Bhilwara, Jaipur, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh also buy clothes from here.

Double whammy

Around 30% shops in the market pay rent. Many traders have taken godowns on rent as well. They are facing a double whammy. Cloth traders are under acute stress. The state government must come forward to bail them by providing monetary help. — Rajeev Malhotra, president, Rohtak Wholesale Cloth Mercantile Association

“June is considered the peak season due to summer vacation as women, along with children, come to their parents’ house and buy clothes. But this time, women are not coming to their parents’ house due to Covid fear,” said Karan Kochar, a trader. He said most of the customers belong to rural areas but are unable to come as trains and buses are not plying.

Sachin Malhotra, another trader, said restrictions on gathering in marriages, other functions and Covid fear among customers were the factors leading to 70 per cent fall in sales.

“Clothes with embroidery were in high demand before the lockdown and more than 200 embroidery machines installed in the market hardly fulfilled the demand. But for the past three months, all these machines are lying unused,” said Sachin, adding that there was no hope of business coming back on track in the next 2-3 months.

Pramod Sehgal, who supplies clothes to various districts of the state, said those having rented shops at the market had been hit hard. “They are compelled to pay hefty rent while the market is struggling for customers. Some of them will have

to vacate the shops if the situation does not become normal soon,” he added.

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