VISAKHAPATNAM: Demonetisation has spelled a doom for roadside woollen garment traders. The sales have come down by 50 per cent at the Tibetan market and roadside shops, traders in the city say.
Being Sunday, the roads around Poorna Market and Police Barracks which are usually crowded with shoppers wore a deserted look. The Tibetan refugees who have been trading in woollen garments every winter for more than 25 years now in the city are in shock this winter.
They said that they didn’t expect the note ban would hit their business so hard. “At the start of winter, we had thousands of customers daily. But after demonetisation, the business nose-dived to half within days. Later, people started coming to purchase but they give `2,000 notes for a jerkin or hoodie costing `380 or `500. From where can we get change for all?” said Tsering, a woollen garment trader.
Adding to it, he said: “In the initial days, we used to go to banks by turns for exchange of notes. We approach even milk suppliers for change during emergencies since we didn’t want to lose business.”
“Despite the winter set in early this year, we are sitting idle with no customers even on the weekends. For lack of change, we are forgoing business. We beseech customers to get change or buy garments for the minimum amount,” said Vangmou, a Tibetan shopkeeper.
Meanwhile, the roadside vendors near the Poorna Market who get garments from wholesalers every season are idling away time with no customers.
“We get garments depending on the season. This winter, there is not even 50 per cent sales that we usually have every year. We get customers from lower-middle and middle class families, but now every customer offers `2,000 note. For lack of change, we are asking them to try their luck in another shop,” said Satyanarayana, a vendor at Poorna Market.