All-time low sales: Not cracker of a Deepavali for city vendors this year

With three days to go for Deepavali, firecracker sales are witnessing an unprecedented dip in the city. Cracker stores run by the State Cooperatives Department are facing an all-time low sales this year owing to the coronavirus-induced economic crisis, admitted multiple government staff.
Shoppers buy firecrackers at a store in Island Grounds
Shoppers buy firecrackers at a store in Island Grounds

Chennai

Last year, the co-op stores in Anna Nagar recorded Rs 5 lakh sales within the first two days. “Now, three days have passed since the cracker counters were put. But sales are less than Rs 50,000,” a store manager told DT Next.
“Usually rates increase by 10 to 20 per cent. This year, even as there has been no sharp increase in rates, consumer response is poor. I have been monitoring the sale of crackers in Chennai for the past 15 years. The response and business enquiries this year are alarmingly poor,” the store’s area manager said. However, staff hoped for an increase in sales from Tuesday. When DT Next enquired with the cracker shops that have been put up in the Island Grounds by private vendors permitted by the Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation, the vendors said that sales have been picking up from Monday. “The next three-day sales would determine our loss and profit,” the vendors added.
However, those who are marketing crackers through newspaper advertisements and pamphlets said that sales have been normal. “Sales have been as usual so far and bookings have started coming after advertisements. There has been no major increase in cracker price,” David Selvarajan, partner of Annamalai Traders, Egmore said
He said that they have been directly procuring from the factories in Sivakasi and enquiries are usually better for popular brands. “This year, the cost of noiseless and sky shot fireworks has increased from 5 to 10 per cent, but the cost of auto bombs, hydrogen bombs, 10,000 and 5000 walas have come down by 10 per cent,” David added.

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