Consumers were less enthusiastic this festive season, thanks to high inflation. Corporates have also slashed their budgets for gifts to clients
The festival of lights failed to light up consumer stores this Diwali. While claims are being made about grand sales, this year, the shopping season has been dim.
“We have not sold much this year,” said the manager of a consumer durables and electronics showroom in Vashi, Navi Mumbai. “Diwali is generally a good time, and people buy televisions, kitchen appliances, cameras, and computers. But most of our stock is unsold, and even fewer turned up for window shopping.”
The manager also said that they were expecting Sony Bravia to sell well, but shortly before Diwali, reports appeared that many television sets abroad were recalled after smoke started coming out of them. This was a big setback.
Retailers too, are counting their losses. Representative of a leading apparel brand said, “We see a lot of people shop for ethnic-wear during the festive season, but this year, people seemed less enthusiastic. We had introduced some new designs for women, but we have had few takers. Footfalls have decreased, and sales are considerably lower than what we have seen earlier.”
However, not all retailers have been adversely affected. A Future Group spokesperson said, “Yes, the footfalls have been low, but since we offer a highly diversified range of products and have many formats, we have not felt that much pressure.”
While Govind Shrikhande, managing director of Shoppers’ Stop has attributed the dull response to the grim sentiment prevailing over scams, industry body ASSOCHAM had predicted that inflation will force the shoppers to cut back substantially on their Diwali shopping budget. Just before Diwali, a survey by this entity said many middle- and lower-income families across the country will cut around 35-40% of spending on festive seasons like Diwali to manage their monthly budgets.
ASSOCHAM said, “Delhi ranks first in curtailing expenses followed by Mumbai (2nd), Ahmedabad (3rd) Chandigarh (4th), Kolkata (5th) and Chennai (6th).” Apart from that, ASSOCHAM also reported that corporates have slashed Diwali gifting budgets by 25%-30%.
During Diwali, not only clothes, but even grocery and other daily-use items become costlier. This year, milk and dairy products, sweets and dry fruits were more expensive, which significantly dampened consumer spirit. Even gold and jewellery, which attract a lot of customers during ‘Dhanteras’ and Diwali, has seen few takers. “This year, not many people have bought jewellery, because gold is expensive right now. We have sold many silver items instead,” said Firoz Johari, a jeweller from Dadar, central Mumbai.
Deutsche Mutual Fund new fund offer closes 3rd November
Deutsche Mutual Fund has launched DWS Fixed Term Fund-Series 92 (DFTF - 92), a close-ended income scheme.
The investment objective of the scheme is to generate income by investing in debt and money market instruments maturing on or before the date of the maturity of the scheme. The duration of the scheme is 370 days.
The new fund offer closes 3 November 2011. The minimum investment amount is Rs5,000.
Crisil Short Term Bond Index is the benchmark index. Kumaresh Ramkrishnan is the fund manager.
ICICI Prudential Mutual Fund new fund offer closes 9th November
ICICI Prudential Mutual Fund has launched ICICI Prudential Multiple Yield Fund-Plan E, a close-ended income scheme.
The primary objective of the plan under the scheme is to generate returns by investing in a portfolio of fixed income securities/debt instruments. The secondary objective of the scheme is to generate long term capital appreciation by investing a portion of the scheme’s assets in equity and equity related instruments. The tenure of the scheme is 1,100 days.
The new fund offer closes 9 November 2011. The minimum investment amount is Rs5,000.
The Scheme will be benchmarked against the prices of Crisil MIP Blended Index. Chaitanya Pande (debt portion) and Mrinal Singh (equity portion) will be the fund managers.