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Small electronic shops open but biz hit as Ritchie Street remains shut

As the lockdown norms have been relaxed by the government and various guidelines are being imposed to open electronic shops in the city, shop owners claim that their businesses are affected due to lack of spare parts after Ritchie Street, the second-largest market for electronics in India is yet to be opened.

Small electronic shops open but biz hit as Ritchie Street remains shut


Sathish Chandran, a resident of Thillaiganga Nagar near Nanganallur said, “I run a mobile service and sales shop in T Nagar. When I opened the shop a few days ago, the headset was the most selling product in my shop. Though chargers and mobile phones are in demand than usual, my headset stock was completely sold out. I couldn’t even repair mobile phone screens or other parts since Ritchie Street is yet to open for business. All my stock of gadgets is running out and I hope the government would allow the grey market to function from Monday.”

During the lockdown, it has become difficult for those operating stand-alone electronic shops. To make some cash, Sathish repaired gadgets from his house after meeting customers online.

People like Sathish use social media to gain customers during this period. “I used social media to connect with customers who want to repair their gadgets. Many people want to repair their phones or buy new ones since all shops were closed. I would like to pick up their gadgets from their houses and return them after repairing the products,” he said.

He also added that due to the shortage of spare parts, he had stopped visiting the customers' house to pick up their products for repair.

On the other hand, customers, too, feel the heat of decrease in the supply of spare parts that has led to a sudden increase in the prices. An IT professional said that when he was looking to buy a wireless mouse after his existing one stopped functioning while working from home, the prices of the products had gone up. “When I went to a local store to buy one, the price was significantly high than the MRP. I think due to demand they have increased the prices.”

Pavithra Nammazhvar, a resident of Anna Nagar said that after she dropped her phone during the lockdown, she has been desperately trying to repair it. “There is no discount for new mobiles and the price of all the gadgets were increased,” said Pavithra.

According to reports, traders at Ritchie Street have been appealing to the State government to permit them to resume operations.

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