Global meltdown, 26/11 hit gift shops business

Global meltdown, 26/11 hit gift shops business

Mumbai: The global financial crisis and the recent terror attacks have hit the business of gift shops across the city particularly those in the malls.

“The overall business is down by 15-20% but the business at malls has suffered more because the footfalls have come down as people are fearing to come. At stand alone stores, the business is normal as the locals are coming in," said Archies Gallery Area Sales Manager (Maharashtra and Goa) Ram Prasad.

At malls, the owners are facing problems to attract customers but at the same time the shopkeepers are expecting to generate good business in the coming days.

“The business is not that good as compared with the last year as sales have dropped by nearly 20-25%. We hope that the coming year will bring some kind of relief to us," said Amit Shah, Cashier, Archies Gallery at Raghuleela Mall in suburban Kandivali.

“The incident has created fear among the citizens and they hardly come to the mall.

“We thought since Diwali we would be able to generate good amount of business but things did not work at that time and now the situation is bad. We have also seen a drop in sales now at least by January-February we expect the sales to pick up," said Irfan Shaikh, Manager, Blue Marine, Raghuleela Mall at Vashi in Navi Mumbai.

Kishore Biyani-led Future Group that owns Big Bazaar, has seen good business because of its on-going festival - ‘The Great Indian Shopping Festival´ at the mall.

“After we introduced the festival we have seen an increase in business of gift items and also an increase in terms of footfalls. We are expecting better sales... (even though) the recent terror attacks in Mumbai kept the citizens away from malls,“ said Mandar Naik, Store Manager, Big Bazaar at Vashi’s Raghueela Mall.

Earlier the business was a bit down since September because of recession and last month’s terror attacks added more problems, he said.

The Future Group is eyeing a revenue of Rs700 crore from the three-week long shopping festival that began on 13 December.

The retail major has a pan-India presence of 1,000 outlets under its various brands, including Pantaloons, Big Bazaar, Food Bazaar, eZone, Hometown among others.

But there is a different story at stand-by stores, which are doing good business but on slow pace.

“Like every year sales are also some what similar but the pace is a bit slow. We have not felt the effect of the recent terror attacks and global meltdown much as compared to others," said Jignesh Shah, Manager, Archies Gallery at Churchgate in south Mumbai.

“We have seen a small amount of drop of nearly 10% in our business as compared to the Christmas season last year.

“We purchase our goods from locals and we also import goods so in that case our business is bit affected. Most of our business is coming from college students. We hope things to be normal in some time," said Dhiraj Shah, Manager, Satyam Collection at Churchgate.