Business slow despite nearing festive seasonBusiness has been slow despite the approach of the festive season as the blockade and fuel shortages take their toll. This time of the year is usually marked by a shopping binge, but apparel stores, consumer electronics shops and automobile showrooms are seeing less footfall.
Business has been slow despite the approach of the festive season as the blockade and fuel shortages take their toll. This time of the year is usually marked by a shopping binge, but apparel stores, consumer electronics shops and automobile showrooms are seeing less footfall. The bazaar is yet to look lively even though the Dashain festival is just two weeks away.
While some traders said that they had not been able to bring merchandise from India and China, other traders said customers were not visiting their stores for lack of gasoline. However, traders haven’t lost hope yet. They have started offering various gifts and cash discounts to entice customers.
Meanwhile, companies have lined up a slew of new launches for the festival season. Vehicle dealers are also in a wait and see mode as they have not been able to deliver vehicles to customers who had booked them during the recently held Nada Auto Show.
“We have a long list of customers who booked vehicles, but we have not been able to deliver them as most them are stuck at the border,” said Rupesh Sharma Bhatta, assistant general manager of Laxmi Intercontinental, the authorised distributor of Hyundai cars in Nepal. The company has already launched a new car and scheme for customers.
“We have recently launched a festival scheme for customers, and we have brought new products for this festival season. So we are just waiting for the situation to return to normal,” said Purushottam Bhandari, national sales manager, CG Electronics, authorised distributor of LG in Nepal. He added that they hoped business would recover during the festival season as sales have slumped 50 percent compared to the same period last year.
Binil Bajracharya, national sales manager of Triveni Byapar Company, the authorised distributor of Samsung, Panasonic, Yasuda and Sansui in Nepal, said that they were visiting various districts outside the Kathmandu Valley as part of their promotional campaign. “We have visited Pokhara, Narayangadh, Bhairahawa and Nepalgunj. We found retailers to be hopeful that they would do good business although the current market trend is unfavourable,” he said.
Apparel store owners in the valley expressed a similar view. Hridaya Babu Shrestha, who owns a clothes store at People’s Plaza at Khicha Pokhari, said, “We had hoped that the promulgation of a new constitution would bring positive vibes to the market, but the situation has become worse with the strikes and blockade.”