With Christmas Eve around the corner, shops in and around Secunderabad are hoping to cash in on the festive season with a wide range of decorative articles, Christmas trees, and caps being sold at their outlets.
We have had a slow start. Last year we could manage to sell up to 45 per cent of the goods ten days before the festival. But due to the 25 to 28 per cent GST applied on Christmas articles, our sales are going on at a snail-speed. Yet we hope that the pace would increase with this weekend else we’ll end up in losses – Umakanth, store owner
Despite all attempts made by the shopkeepers to lure buyers, sales dropped by over 30 per cent compared to previous years, inform the store owners who blame Goods & Services Tax (GST) for it.
“We have had a slow start. Last year we could manage to sell up to 45 per cent of the goods ten days before the festival. But due to the 25 to 28 per cent GST applied on Christmas articles, our sales are going on at a snail-speed. Yet we hope that the pace would increase with this weekend else we’ll end up in losses,” said Umakanth, proprietor of a popular store in the area. As five per cent extra charges are levied from commercial spaces on the purchases, store owners now are apprehensive about the fate of their goods. Even buyers believe the prices have skyrocketed. “We intend to use our old tree with new decorations but the prices that vendors even at General Bazaar quote are not affordable by all,” said Cimba Parsapu, a customer.
Unlike the previous year, fancy stores, wholesale shops and franchise decorative outlets imported Christmas articles not only from Mumbai but also from Malaysia, Thailand, USA, etc to attract customers. Alone at Shraddha Extensions, around 59 varieties of regular Christmas trees like the Cherry Pine, Snow Flaked Tree etc and 16 models of special cone-shaped lighting trees were procured in bulk quantities from wholesalers in Mumbai.
“Every Christmas the Anglo Indian Christian communities prefer to experiment with Christmas trees at their homes but, due to unavailability of wide choices, they have to compromise with their festivities.
Hence, we wanted to take the risk of offering a wide range of choices for the customers,” said Umakanth. Apart from the trees, decoration articles like stars, Poinsettia flowers, socks, pines, steamers, wreaths, angel charms etc too have been procured in bulk from various parts of the country expecting a boost in Christmas sales.