It has also induced customers to visit commercial streets ahead of Deepavali
Steady decline in COVID-19 cases has come as a big relief to textile traders in Tiruchi as they can carry out their business without any disruption from the authorities.
Sale of textile and ready-made dresses thirty days prior to Deepavali accounts for nearly 25% of the total sale in a year. The Deepavali sale that starts during the puja festival picks up gradually and reaches its peak in the last week prior to the festival day. There were apprehensions among the traders on whether they would be able to achieve at least 50% of their regular business due to the impact of COVID-19. A couple of leading textile showrooms on NSB Road in the city had to be closed temporarily for a few weeks in July after some staff members tested positive for COVID-19. The strict safety measures imposed by the State government had also raised doubts on normal business during the festival season.
However, according to sources in the industry, this year’s business can not be termed as bad considering the prevailing circumstances in the wake of spread of COVID-19. Most of the traders seem to be doing brisk business, although it is not similar to the volume of business done in previous years. The biggest relief to textile traders is that not many employees tested positive for the virus during the last one month. If they were tested positive, the showrooms would have been asked to shut their doors for at least a few days.
Steady decline in COVID-19 cases in Tiruchi district too has reinforced the positive sentiments among traders as well as the customers. There were days when the positivity rate was hovering around 10% in the district. It has come down to just around 1%. The daily count of fresh cases, which was in three digit until a few weeks ago, hovers around 30 to 50 in the last two weeks. It has actually induced the customers to visit commercial streets for Deepavali shopping, say traders.
“It is unfair to set a huge target this year as this is not a normal year. However, we have not done badly and we are content with the sales,” says Roshan, Managing Director, Sarathas, Tiruchi.
Though enforcing physical distancing has been a challenge during the festival season, special teams have managed to ensure that customers wear face masks and sanitise their hands with sanitisers, he added.
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