Chennai, October 21: Usman Road shop-owners saw their sales dip as the rain continued unabated since last Friday.
The onset of the Northeast monsoon has caused a lull in the sales especially for small shop owners who reported the biggest losses.
Arul Mozhi, Manager, Sri Kumaran Silks, said that the trend of buying new clothes is more prevelant among the poor and middle class population since they get a bonus only around diwali.
Samsudeen, owner of a children’s clothes shop on Usman Road, has been in the business for more than two decades. He started his business after his marriage and is settled in T.Nagar. He said that the business during this Diwali had been the worst since he began this occupation.
His turnover during the festival month last year was around Rs. 1.5 lakhs, but this year it was barely half of that. He added thatthere would not be any profit and he would not even be able to recover the principal.
“It’s going to be hard to make ends meet”, he said.
Faizal owns a small shoe shop opposite to Sri Kumaran Silks in Usman Road for eight years. He used to earn at least Rs. 4000 a day during Diwali but this year it had been only between Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000.
“I have seen better sales during normal days”, he said.
But there has been a steady stream of customers since the morning and today being the day before Diwali, there is a possibility of sales going up, he added.
Even the bigger players in the business have seen a dip in sales this Diwali season. Gandhi, Manager and employee of Pothys for the past 22 years, said that there had been at least 30 to 35% decrease in sales compared to last year.
Chitra, a housewife, at Pothys with her familyto shop said “I usually finish my shopping one week before but due to rain we had to put it off till the last minute.”
Despite this there are few who managed to keep the sales up.
Mozhi said that the business is pretty normal with sales three times the normal season as it always is during this season. The tradition of purchasing clothes before festivals is decreasing since the people have lot of options to choose from near their area.
– Swathi Moorthy