End of season sales received a thumping response in July as consumers who avoided full-price merchandise thronged malls for discounts, experts said.

Many buyers skipped discretionary spending in the past few months due to a weak economy, leaving malls with a deserted look.

The end of season sales at most brands began by end of June and beginning of July. Moreover, this weekend, malls in the Greater Mumbai area such as Inorbit in Malad, Viviana in Thane and RCity in Thane and Mumbai offered flat 50% off, attracting a lot more people than usual.

The result: Serpentine queues before malls, full parking, long queues at changing and fitting rooms and even longer lines at billing. While long queues at brands like Zara and Forever 21 are expected, even stores of Chemistry, Indian Terrain, Arrow and Peter England were chock-a-block.

The roaring sales, however, triggered some angry reactions among harried customers.

“Do not. Repeat .do not come in here. 1 million ppl here. For 50% sale (@ Inorbit Mall in Mumbai, Maharashtra)," tweeted @nikster007 on 11 July. Another tweet by for Viviana mall by @iamafhu read, “Don’t Even Dare To Enter @Vivianamall (angry face). Pathetic Parking Šervice By The Mall Authorities (another emoji) #Flat50 #EpicFail (again an angry emoji)."

This weekend, the RCity mall in Ghatkopar had the highest car count in a single day on Sunday since the mall opened about six years ago, forcing it to shut parking.

There were several instances where consumers also gave up waiting in the line for paying bills and went back home after seeing the huge rush.

Nevertheless, the weekend has been one of the best for retailers.

“This has been a specifically good weekend and a good start to the end of season sales. Overall, this financial year has had a good start," said Atul Ruia, managing director, Phoenix Mills Ltd, adding the weekend saw average trading density and footfalls rise over 20% on an average across all the malls in the country. At some of centres like Chennai and Kurla, it was 40% up compared with a year-ago.

Explaining the reason for the success, Amaan Faikh, chief executive officer, malls, Runwal Group says, “The consumer sentiment is not the best in town; all the more end of season sales is far more accentuated."

According to Faikh, if the consumer has not consumed much in the last six months, then they are willing to buy more during the end of season of sales. However, if they have shopped at full price, then they don’t particularly care about the sales. The Runwal Group has three malls in Mumbai and one in Thane under the brands RCity and RMall.

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