Market watch

No big fat weddings, parties; Malhar Road loses big time

No big fat weddings, parties; Malhar Road loses big time

Business in the posh Malhar Road market has plummeted as big fat weddings and parties have taken a back seat in Ludhiana amid Covid scare. Photo: Ashwani Dhiman

Shivani Bhakoo

Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 22

Malhar Road here is one of the posh areas of the city where the price of per square yard of land is in lakhs. Big showrooms, eating joints, salons, banks, jewellery houses located here witnessed flourishing business before the Covid-19 pandemic. But today, the situation is totally different.

The owners are worried as to how they would sustain in this scenario when there is no walk-in customer.

Talking to The Tribune, Sonu Gandhi from Sonu Gandhi Label said the trend of big fat weddings was gone. Now, people prefer simple and small weddings.

“The scene is totally different. We are now making business plans as per the budget of clients. There is no walk-in customer. At the same time, we cannot do cost-cutting. We cannot afford to lay off the skilled labour. The ACs cannot be kept switched off all the time. The rent has to be paid regularly. The government needs to infuse some liquidity into the market to generate demand. As there are no big weddings and parties, clients don’t want to splurge on designer outfits,” said Sonu.

The market, which otherwise remained abuzz with activity, wears a deserted look these days with hardly any visitor seen in shops.

Jasdeep Singh Kundan of Kundan Jewellers said he had the staff of over 20 persons. “They are skilled artisans. If we ask them to leave, they will not be available tomorrow. A few weddings are taking place these days. With people going for simple marriages, they demand simple jewellery. Things will improve but not in 2020, as people have no money to spend on expensive jewellery,” said Jasdeep.

The condition of eating joints and leading sweet-mart shops is no different either.

Bhupinder Singh of Ice Cream Studio said for them, the timings were not suitable at all. “Who will come to our shop at 7 am? In fact, our business starts in the evening, during late evening in summers. But by that time, we are asked to close the shop. With business plummeting to just 15 per cent, how will we survive? The workers are willing to leave as there is no business. The administration should have continued with the take-away/home deliveries. The ice cream industry will be finished if not allowed to operate till late evening,” said Bhupinder Singh.

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