As people switch to online shopping mode, City shopkeepers offer huge discounts to survive
‘We have recorded 40 per cent dip in sales since past few three years as people prefer online shopping.
Srinagar, Feb 02 (KNO): Traders in and around the capital city of Srinagar are bearing the brunt of online shopping as the footfall of customers has shown a considerable dip since the past few years.
Asif Habib, a shopkeeper in the Goni Khan area, told news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO) that the local market has been struggling for the past couple of years following the outbreak of Covid-19 in the region.
“Customers are opting to purchase goods from online stores,” he said. “We are now offering huge discounts to woo customers, otherwise no one would visit our shops for purchases.” Many other shopkeepers at the once busiest markets of Srinagar narrated the same ordeal.
Habib claimed that their business has declined by “forty percent.” He said that the ongoing renovation of the capital city under the Smart City project has further exacerbated the challenges faced by local traders whose business was already declining.
“People buy things online and this trend has been going on since many years. But we can see that the majority of people prefer online shopping as it saves time,” said another shopkeeper, Adil Nazir, who sells ready made female suits and bridal items. “We are keeping very little profits and offering huge discounts on every item as that’s the only way to survive.”
Nighat Ara, a resident of Nowgam, acknowledged the transition in shopping trends from offline to online markets. She added that online stores offer several benefits including discounts and refunds if the customer is unsatisfied with the product.
“I used to visit Lal Chowk and other markets for shopping but it used to cost me a lot of time and energy.” Ara told KNO. “Online shopping has made our life easy. I believe it has eased our burden.”
The President of the Kashmir Trade Alliance, Ajaz Shahdhar, accepted that local traders are experiencing a significant loss due to the lack of purchasing power among the local population.
“General trade serves as the backbone of the economy,” Shahdhar said. “But since the money is not circulating as a result the local businessmen are facing difficulties in earning their livelihood.” He said that online stores have largely contributed to the decline of purchases from traditional markets.”
Javed Ahmed Tenga, President of Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industries, told KNO the low business is not confined to Kashmir but across the globe.
“The global markets, including those in countries like England and Germany, are experiencing the same fate. Online shopping is flourishing across the world,” Tenga said. “In Kashmir many people cancelled their plans to visit Kashmir due to the weather thus affecting money circulation this year. However, we remain hopeful for better times ahead,” he added—(KNO)