CHENNAI: Beginning 12am, July 1, India’s largest hypermarket chain Future Group’s Big Bazaar will usher in the Goods and Services Tax (GST) with a midnight shopping ‘bonanza’. Prices, according to the chain, are expected to fall by 5 to 22 per cent and Big Bazaar’s outlets will remain open until 2 am.
But Big Bazaar’s ‘GST Muhurat’ celebration is not the only discount festival in town. A host of other retailers are offering increased discounts in order to clear out old stocks ahead of the launch.
“Retailers could stand to lose if old stock, where tax has already been paid, are sold at post-GST rates. The government has allowed only 60 per cent input credit on old stock sold after July 1. If huge inventory is carried forward, retailers will lose money,” pointed out a pan-India retailer.
According to the Retailers Association of India (RAI), retailers have actually preponed their sales from mid-July to now.
“Because the entire Diwali season this year is also almost a month early… GST coincided with this change in seasons, making it easier to prepone sales,” said Kumar Rajagopalan, chief executive officer, RAI.
Some of the biggest discounts are in the automobile and electronic devices segments.
While automobile dealers have been offering discounts for over two weeks, the last twenty four hours before GST’s launch is set to see these skyrocket. Retailers are also hurrying to clear off old stock, resulting in virtual ‘End-of-Year’ sales.