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Retailers wait for demand to improve

With local retail industry claiming modest sales this Diwali festival, it looks like the slowdown in Goan economy is still not over, reports Dhanashri Karbotkar

For all consumers Diwali festival is a good time to buy. Consumers purchase costly items during the festival and satisfy their urge to shop.

It is a good period for the retail industry that gets chunk of its business during the festive season.

   But for Goan retail industry Diwali festive season was not that economically good as expected as the market sentiment was subdued. Further rain and bad weather ruined the shopping experience. Retailers said that they lost out on the anticipated surge in sales. However with the festive season still ongoing and expected to last until January 2020, retailers added that, they remain optimistic for the coming months.

   Owner of Talk of Town Shoeland, Ashok Belani, Vasco, said, “There was absolutely poor sale during Diwali festival. Compared to last year the festival got us less volume. Rain and storm also affected the market.” According to Belani, online portals are the culprits in spoiling business for small retailers like him.

   “People prefer to buy online on their mobile phones as result of which our sales have slowed down. It is affecting the growth of local retailers,” he says 

   In 18th June road, Panjim, Paresh Mehta, owner of Bombay Bazar, also does not sound happy about sales during the slew of festivals gone by. “There were fewer footfalls in our store during Diwali like it was in Dussera and prior to that in Ganesh Chaturthi. Continuous rain before Diwali affected us. Due to bad weather less people walked out of their house which resulted in lower sale this festive season,” feels Mehta.

   From Vasco, Akhil Chadda, promoter, Max Mall, said that, Diwali sales were good but not as much as expected. “There was nominal growth as compared to 2018.”

   In order to boost sales for the coming months and especially Christmas and the wedding season, Chada is drawing up plans to overcome the loss that was faced during the festivals gone by. “We are planning to shift year-end season sale little further and get new stock and something fresh for customers so that we can provide very good merchandise to uplift the sale immediately. We are also planning for marketing and other promotional activities to bring good business for Christmas as well as wedding season,” says Chada. 

    Most local retailers claimed that, consumer sentiments did not improve as it a reflection of slowdown in the overall economy. On other hand Nami Jain, owner, Silk Emporium, Panaji, is buoyant. “Diwali brought good sale. There is a slowdown in market but it is not alarming situation. I experienced slow down in the demand during the four months of monsoon season, which was expected. Though high rainfall affected footfalls I experienced good sale turnover for this Diwali season as compared to 2018 season. Diwali was better than Ganesh as there was a high leap from Ganesh festival to Diwali sales.”

   Jain feels that, the economy presently is at the bottom of the roller coaster. “We have started climbing,” says Jain.  When asked about outlook for coming Christmas, Jain says that, as his store deals with Indian wear he concentrates more on traditional wear customers. “There will be more footfalls. Coming Christmas and wedding season will bring more sale and we are looking for big growth in business,” he

says optimistically.

  Shopping for gold jewellery is highlight of Diwali festival purchases. On Dhanteras day which is the auspicious day for purchasing gold during the festival local gold stores were full of customers. But overall the subdued consumer sentiments also affected the demand for

 gold jewellery.

Vikram Verlekar, managing director, Ulhas Jewellers, Margao, said that, gold demand was not bright enough. “The festival was not great for gold jewellers but we got a start at least,” said Verlekar.

  Consumption during major festivals is a good indication of the situation in the economy. In Goa, purchases of consumer durables, automobiles, real estate, gold and retail goods such as clothes, shoes, food, surges during festivals.

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