The Associated Chambers Of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM), one of the leading trade lobbies in India, says Delhiites may not have fully accustomed to shop from malls even as numerous complexes have come up in almost every nook and corner of the city.
“What is intriguing is that despite the thriving mall format throughout the city, common people still prefer to buy goods from traditional neighborhood markets,” according to an ASSOCHAM study.
The trade lobby says “the mall culture has not been able to shift the focus entirely away from local traditional markets as the shoppers prefer to hang out and shop there, more so because of the familiarity with ambiance, ease of access, variety of goods, loyalty of the customers”.
Cheaper prices compared to shopping malls is one more reason to buy from weekly bazaars.
“There is a price difference of about 25-30 percent of the goods available in the markets as compared to those in the shopping complexes,” according to the ASSOCHAM report.
Everything is available at lower prices in these bazaars and they are usually open in the evenings and close late into the night, making it convenient for office-goers.
The weekly bazaars are a part of India’s unorganised sector, which forms a core strength of the country’s work force and gives a pivot to its economy.
There are no definite studies available to measure an average turnover of these bazaars.
National Association of Street Vendors of India Coordinator, Arbind Singh tells IANS that on a rough estimate the turnover of each market with 1,000-1,500 vendors is around Rs 5 crore.
According to an IANS report: Goods are picked from wholesale markets like Saddar Bazar, Chandni Chowk, Paharganj and Sarojini Nagar and carried straight to these bazaars. Temporary stalls of wooden planks covered with plastic sheets are installed. Each shop is decorated with a number of yellow tungsten bulbs — all this happens quickly.
The vendors pay the area municipal corporation Rs 10 for each stall and they privately say that they have to pay Rs 50-100 as protection money to the “men in khaki”.
Despite all the hardships, they are confident that they are here to stay and that no shopping mall can ever replace them.