Despite the festive season as well as discounts, shopkeepers at Chickpete market are unable to cope with losses.
Bengaluru: According to Yathesh Jain, President of the Lal Building Association in Chickpete Market, approximately 40 shops were closed due to a lack of funds the previous year. Last year, one of the shopkeepers, Deep Singh Raj Purohit, committed suicide as a consequence of the same. However, shopkeepers are now turning to digital channels such as YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook to attract customers and to earn money by uploading videos and photos.
Ranjit Jain, a shopkeeper at Chickpete Market for the past 26 years said, “We lose between five and seven lakhs per year, have no income, and have no growth because there are no consumers due to covid restrictions and guidelines.”
Nobody considers the businessman, Ranjit added, “We don’t even get 30% of the sales compared to what we had before the pandemic.”
Ajay, another shopkeeper from that market said, “We need at least 30 to 40 thousand rupees to manage our home, but due to a lack of earnings, we have been unable to pay our children’s school tuition for the past one and half years.”
According to Capgemini Research Institute, 75 percent of Indian consumers prefer online shopping because of its ease and safety.
No doubt, the crowd in the market is less now than it was in past years, Lakhmaya, a regular customer at Chickpete Market said, “I still feel hesitant to come out for shopping due to the pandemic as I don’t feel safe.” Hetzibah Metilba another customer, said, “During the pandemic, we started shopping online and it just carried forward.” [sic]
Customers switching to online shopping has affected almost all retailers. However, they believe that Dussehra is the only way to get their lives back on track. Maastan, a shopkeeper said, “Dussehra will increase footfall in the markets for a minimum of four to five days at a stretch.”
CA K. Ravi, Former President of the FKCCI – Federation of Karnataka Chambers of Commerce and Industry, commented that the rise of online commerce has aggravated the decline of small businesses. Furthermore, due to Covid, shops were advised to close before nightfall, which hampered their business because most people tend to go shopping in the evening. He added, “The people have started utilizing the online ordering, what could have taken 10 years has happened in the 1 or 2 years, due to necessity. People are able to get anything from anywhere.”
He further added that if retailers want to reach clients, “They should adopt online business: they should have a website of their own. They should be able to cater to, infect being close to locality. They will be able to give a much better delivery. With a small margin, they should be able to compete in a much better way. They must provide reasonable pricing and transparency.”