First Business News Portal in English from Nepal
KATHMANDU: Shopping malls that used to be crowded with shoppers during the festive season are deserted this year.
As many people tend to shop during the festivals, the festive season is a lucrative time for malls. However, the malls which had remained closed for a long time due to the lockdown imposed to stop the spread of the coronavirus have not had much business. It has been a rather disappointing time for business people.
What is more disappointing for the traders is that many of them had imported goods via air and had to pay higher transport charges. They say that the number of customers this year as compared to the figures last year is dismal. Even those malls that have seen some people have not actually had transactions.
Mohan Saraf, chairman of Biswojyoti Mall, informed that the number of customers visiting malls has dropped due to the increasing COVID-19 infections in the valley. He said that the mall had been completely closed during the lockdown and even after having opened in recent days the mall has not been able to attract customers like in previous years. Hence, sales have been very low, he said.
“Compared to the festive season last year only 15 to 20 percent of people have visited the mall till date,” said Saraf.
According to him, there is also not much excitement among shoppers because there are hardly any new goods available in the market. “Customers are being offered the same old products that traders have in stock,” Saraf mentioned. He added that some shops are still closed even though the mall has opened as they do not have appropriate amount of goods.
As per Remax Nepal that operates Civil Mall, Chaya Complex and Labim Mall, compared to the last festive season not even five percent of customers has visited the malls. The company’s supervisor at Civil Mall, Kusum Tamang, said that in previous years the traders would have no time to even have their meals but this year they are just sitting idling away.
Traders have said that offers and discounts are not working in attracting customers this year. Tamang stated that even though the company has offered 20 percent discount on all products targeting Dashain, it has not been able to attract shoppers. Ganesh Pokharel, an employee of Giordano Nepal in Labim Mall, also said that though malls are offering 10 to 40 percent discount, the number of customers is very low.
Pokarel mentioned that compared to last year only five to 10 percent of trade has been done this year due to the pandemic. Although, there is a crowd of people in the market, sales are not encouraging. However, he said that there was no shortage of goods in the market.
According to him, they had brought the goods at a high air fare hoping of selling the goods during Dashain. But, since there are no customers as expected they are facing problems.
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