Local traders in Kerala hope for festive cheer

Rush seen in markets ahead of Vishu-Easter-Ramzan season after 26 months of Covid curbs, bringing cheer to shopkeepers. The only issue is financial constraints of customers and traders

Published: 09th April 2022 07:19 AM  |   Last Updated: 09th April 2022 07:25 AM   |  A+A-

Customers selecting sarees from a textile shop at Pazhavangadi in Thiruvananthapuram | B P Deepu

Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: After suffering massive losses in the past two years owing to the pandemic, the city markets gear up to welcome yet another festival season with high hopes of a revival. Local traders, farmers and the textile industry are hoping that the business will go back to pre-pandemic times this Vishu-Easter-Ramzan season. 

The textile market is expecting good business this weekend and in the days to come. According to market experts, business is slowly limping back to normal as Covid restrictions have been lifted.  “It’s been 26 months of restrictions and things are looking normal again now. People are able to celebrate festivals with a free mind now and traders are hopeful and expecting above normal business this festival season.

Local traders have been the worst hit and we want the public to come out and shop from local shops. The market will not benefit if people opt for online buying. However, financial constraints are a major challenge for both traders and consumers,” said S S Manoj, president of Kerala Vyapari Vyavasayi Ekopana Samithi (KVVES).  

With Vishu around the corner, the textile shops in the capital are witnessing a heavy rush. Owing to the general rise in prices, the price of clothing is likely to go up by 10-15%. “Past two years have been tough because of the pandemic. The business has improved by 70-75% but still, a section of the customers are hesitant to come for shopping as the Covid situation is still there. We hope for a good business this season and expect more customers this weekend,” said Prabha Harrison, senior manager of Ramachandran Retail Pvt Ltd. He said the customers still prefer to purchase clothing directly from textile shops. 

“It’s not like ordering groceries online and people prefer purchasing it when they come to the shops. Almost every brand has hiked the rate of products by 10-15% from the beginning of this month and we haven’t hiked the rate considering the festival season,” said Prabha Harrison. 

Supplyco Vishu-Easter-Ramzam fair from Monday 
To make available essential commodities at reasonable rates, Supplyco is gearing up to launch the Vishu-Easter-Ramzan fair on Monday. Minister of Food and Civil Supplies G R Anil will officially inaugurate the statewide fair at a function to be held at Supplyco outlet at Thampanoor. The fair will continue till May 3. In an effort to facilitate the customers, the Supplyco has tied up with Horticorp, Matsyafed and MPI (Meat Product of India) to make available everything under one single roof. 

A senior official said the customer base of Supplyco is growing. “Price rise is a serious issue and we are trying to make available essential commodities at subsidised rates. Earlier, our customers were from middle class families and now we are planning to expand our customer base by making available premium products. The proposal is under consideration of the government,” said the official.

Horticorp to support local farmers 
Horticorp and the agriculture department will hold a special Vishu fair this week to support local farmers. A senior official of Horticorp said all its outlets will function as Vishu special market on Wednesday. “We will be procuring more vegetables from local farmers. We have already received calls from farmers from northern Kerala, including Malappuram and Palakkad alerting us of the availability of ‘Kanivellari’. In Thiruvananthapuram, ‘Kanivellari’ is unavailable and hence we will be bringing them from other districts,” said the official. 


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