GUWAHATI, Oct 3 - With just a couple of days left for Durga Puja, markets and malls of Guwahati are witnessing a shopping spree after a prolonged dull period that dominated the markets till recently. During the last two days people in large numbers have ventured out of their homes to make the most of their time and pick their Puja essentials.
Durga Puja is an occasion that accelerates business to a great extent in several segments. As perfect outfits and matching accessories are a must to show up on all the three days of pandal hopping, the apparel stores, shoe sections, jewellery shops and outlets dealing especially in handbags are among the most crowded shops in the city malls.
Daisy Gogoi, an architecture student studying in Bangalore is all praise for the changing outlook of Guwahati. �Earlier we had only three-four good malls with limited stocks available. But now Guwahati has an outlet of almost every good brand. Why carry the stuff from Bangalore when everything is available here,� she said.
Readymade traditional dresses are being preferred to those requiring trips to the tailors.
�Since there is no time left for getting a suit or a mekhela stitched, customers are mostly buying mix-and-match dresses. A huge collection of easy-to-wear traditional sarees, lehengas are available in the markets,� Tarun R Chanda, owner of an apparel showroom on GS Road said.
With a moderate weather condition prevailing for the past few days, Fancy Bazar, the trade hub of the North East is also witnessing a huge rush of customers.
However, a number of traders in wholesale markets of cloths and accessories complained that the market has remained dull for a long time. �There was no money in the market and there is little chance of the wholesale market picking up in the run-up to Puja. Wholesale trading should ideally pick up at least one month ahead of the occasion, when small traders from other parts of the State come to purchase from us,� Mohsin Ahmed, a bulk trader of accessories owning two shops at Fancy Bazar, said.
Retailers are still hopeful about reaching their sale target in the remaining days of Puja. �With start of the new month, the salaried sections are now stepping into the market in hoards. Hopefully sales will pick up further if the weather remains conducive,� said Ratul Banik, owner of a shop for kidswear at Ganeshguri.