Sales down by 40%, festivals fail to cheer grocery traders

Picture for representational purpose only.Picture for representational purpose only.
INDORE: Indore’s traditional Siyaganj market failed to glimmer this festive season as demand for grocery items dropped by around 40 per cent and the outlook remains muted owing to absence of any festival or fresh demand in near term.
Unlike past years, sale of dry fruits, coconut, spices, sugar, sago and other items fell sharply leaving behind towering inventories to cater to the festive season, traders and dealers said.

Siyaganj Wholesale Kirana Merchant Association president Ramesh Khandelwal said, “Sales were lower than what was expected in festive season. Demand for grocery items was about 40 per cent lower than previous year because of liquidity crunch.”

There are about 800 stores in Siyaganj Kirana market that houses stores of spices, dry fruits and grains among other commodities.

Khandelwal said, “Market has been gradually declining since roll out of GST and notebandi. This season was very bad because liquidity crunch is adversely affecting small business and traders.”

Festivals and weddings are peak season, when demand for grocery items shoots up significantly but this season, purchases remained very low, traders said.

Traders said dry fruits sales always goes up in Holi as it is used in making thandai but this season, the market sentiment was very lethargic.

Siyaganj Wholesale Kirana Merchant Association vice-president Sampat Dhoot said, “Despite lowering profit margins, sales remained poor. We have stopped maintaining month long inventories unlike past because trend is very weak.”

Traders said that they maintain only short term stocks so that they get exhausted fast because no one wants to block capital looking at the sluggish trend.

They said, the trend is not healthy and it looks like the traditional market is losing its sheen day by day.