Markets witness thin footfall of Shoppers this Eid; high inflation to be blamed

SRINAGAR: Markets in Kashmir witnessed thin footfall of shoppers ahead of Eid-ul-Fitr with many blaming inflation for hitting Eid budget.

Shopkeepers from several markets said that they were expecting a good sale but said the markets lacked enthusiasm.

“People were seen jostling and swarming around mutton and bakeries shops. But the overall market sentiment was low,” said shopkeepers.

Jahangir Ahmad, a shopkeeper at Pulwama town said that despite Covid restrictions in the last two years, sales were good and whosoever was visiting shop was at least purchasing an item or two at least.

But he said that this time sales remained all time low because customers are not in a position to afford

“Inflation and poverty due to Covid-19 lockdowns have badly hit J&K and the poor are hardly able to fill their bellies,” he said.

Javaid Ahmad, a shopkeeper dealing with readymade garments said that he used to sale lakhs on festive occasions and whosoever was visiting his shop used to buy at least an item or two. But this year very few customers are visiting his shop and one out of ten customers are able to afford an item.

He said that unemployment is at its peak, poor people have become poorer in last few years and they are hardly able to cater to the requirement of essential items.

They said that on one hand the rates of essential items like rice have doubled in last few months and on the other hand most people don’t have any are jobs.

“Most people come to markets to purchase essential items only while sales for other shopkeepers is below par,” shopkeepers said

Mohammad Yaseen Khan, a senior trade leader and chairman of Kashmir Economic Alliance (KEA) – an amalgam of various trade bodies said that the markets were struggling for quite some time now to gain sales momentum, but the rains ahead of Eid festival played a spoilsport.

“It is just not like that our sales dipped due to rains only; we have been struggling for multiple reasons,” Khan said. “However, we were hopeful of picking up good sales ahead of Eid, but the continuous rainfall adversely impacted our sales.”

KEA chairman said that ahead of the Eid festival, people mostly buy bakery and mutton products for which rains can hardly hamper people from coming out, but in other areas of the market, it made an effect. “The overall impact it made on sales is around 50 percent,” he added.

“Clothing, footwear, communication, and other items which used to witness good sales on Eid witnessed sluggish sales due to rains,” he said.


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