In fact, many shops in different parts of the country even witnessed robust sales.
Some of the major metros such as New Delhi, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Chennai, and other big cities like Ahmedabad, Surat, Kanpur and Lucknow saw a healthy rise in sales.
“Starting from Dhanteras, consumers in large numbers came out from their homes and started visiting markets, giving hope for a good business to traders in Delhi and across the country. If this trend continues, we expect good sales during Diwali this year,” said Praveen Khandelwal, secretary general, Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT).
However, CAIT said that online ecommerce badly impacted offline trade. “In various retail segments, ecommerce has very adversely impacted us and sectors, including consumer durables, FMCG, electronics, mobiles and electrical goods, have seen a decline in business by as much as 40 per cent,” added Khandelwal.
Traders in Kanpur claimed that many people landed in the city for Chhath Puja and the increase in influx has helped boost sales. “Many are coming back home for Diwali and Chhath. This has helped sales. If this momentum continues, we would not only be able to reach our targets but also make sizeable profits,” said Anmol Sharma, a home linen trader in the city.
Earlier, traders claimed that spending capacity of customers had gone down drastically. “The traders are hoping that from the day of Dhanteras, shopping will accelerate and in other days of the festival, consumers will visit the markets. But compared to last year, there is a 40 per cent decline in business,” said Khandelwal had said.
Cities such as Surat also saw an increase in sales of jewellery on Dhanteras. “Sales have improved quite a lot over the last 24 hours. We believe the momentum will continue at least till the weekend,” said Jayesh Kumar, owner of a gems and jewellery store in the city.
Others, however, claim that footfalls in the market this time around would not be a parameter for gauging sales. Even though people are stepping out, not many are buying.
“Sales have slightly improved but it is still less than what was expected. For many, stocks are still lying idle. No one is buying clothes, electronics, or other non-essential items that otherwise see a sales boom during Diwali,” said Ashok Randhawa, president Sarojini Nagar Mini Market Association.