Brick-and-mortar-stores suffer

Go vocal for local stores, Jalandhar residents urged

Craze for online portals has shopkeepers worried

Go vocal for local stores, Jalandhar residents urged

Retailers complain their sales are down and they are in dire need of customers to bail them out of the situation.

Deepkamal Kaur

Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, October 16

As the festive season draws near, there is a growing clamour in the local markets, appealing to the residents not to make online purchases and instead walk down to the nearby shops for buying lights, appliances, gifts, clothing and other stuff.

Even the shopkeepers of Asia’s one of the biggest wholesale markets of electrical goods, which is based at Phagwara in Jalandhar, have appealed to the residents not to go in for purchase of any electrical or electronic stuff from online portals such as Amazon and Flipkart and instead help them to boost their business.

President of Jalandhar Electrical Traders Welfare Association Amit Sehgal has said, “Our sales are down and we are in dire need of customers to bail us out of the grim situation that we are all facing. We are telling our customers not to make any online purchases as they are likely to face problems of guarantee or exchange of products, which won’t be a problem with us. Being locally available, we are ready to provide them all after sale services as well. So, they must depend on us or our local retailers instead of going for online shopping.”

He added, “When the curbs were relaxed, we enjoyed good sales for nearly 1.5 months as people were in dire need of items and were waiting for us to open. But now, we are witnessing a huge dip in our sales and there is hardly any customer in the market these days. This is otherwise the time when our sales used to be the maximum. We used to have so many customers otherwise, this time of the season.”

Rohan Sehgal, President of Model Town Market Association, too says that he is mulling over a ‘word of mouth campaign’ asking people to make purchases from their own local market instead of exploring the required items from the web. I have interacted with many shopkeepers selling gift items, clothes and other stuff. They are satisfied over the decision to extend time of opening of shops from 6 pm to 10 pm. In Model Town, most visitors are evening shoppers. They get free from work and come to have fun with family. They now say that their sales have resumed by 80 per cent since Coronavirus outbreak.”

Rajiv Gupta, a manufacturer and MD of KCSAD LED Lights India Ltd, says, “I am really enthused by people chanting ‘Make in India’ slogan. It is a big boost for manufacturers like us.”

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