Retailers at shopping malls are expecting about 45-50 per cent increase in sales this festive season as they are offering freebies and easy finance options to beat competition from e-commerce players, a study by industry body Assocham said. "Faced with heavy discounts from e-commerce, shopping mall owners in major cities are shaping back, going aggressive in the run up to Diwali, offering freebies and easy finance options, hoping to win back the footfalls and increase their business by at least 45-50 per cent in the ongoing festive season compared to similar period last year," Assocham said. It said that as per feedback received from retailers, malls in Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Jaipur, Chandigarh, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru and Chennai have already started seeing increased activity. Malls have adopted a new sales strategy of giving a festive feel to the consumers, it added. "There is a better market experience this festive season, which is expected to give a leg-up to the consumer sentiment," Assocham Secretary General D S Rawat said. Assocham said its study is based on responses from 750 leasing managers, management representatives of malls, strategists, marketers and supervisors in Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Chandigarh and Dehradun. The study noted that most retailers and consumer durable goods makers were upbeat about brisk business during the third quarter and therefore increased their overall marketing budget by about 30 - 40 per cent for this period alone. They plan to conduct these promotional activities until early January, it added. Some malls in New Delhi reported record business on weekends as buyers rushed to get clothes, food, jewellery and cosmetics for Diwali celebrations. In value terms, the growth is 20 percent higher than the previous year, while in volume terms it could be around 10-15 percent higher, according to mall managers.
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