Although the state government allowed shops to operate till 8 pm and lifted complete lockdown on Sundays, managers/ owners of most of the small retail shops in Mylapore’s Luz zone say that neither of this has helped to improve their business.
In fact, some of them say that business has gone down post-September.
Says a staff at the popular clothing store, Gani, in Luz, “We have not seen any improvement in business post the relaxations this month. If anything, customers have reduced compared to past few months.
“Earlier, as we closed by 7 pm, people rushed to shop early. Now, with the business hours extended by an hour, which is way past most people’s work timings, they seem to have got the mindset that they can go shopping a little late. So people come in just before the closing time. But overall sales are dull,” he adds.
The manager of Butterfly Galleria store, that sells a range of kitchen appliances on Luz Church Road too says that business is lean now. “Hardly one or two customers are dropping in, since this past week,” he says.
Says Girish, manager of the well known Rex Fashions here, “Not many customers are visiting our shop even on Sundays. We hope shopping will get going in the following weeks.”
The man in-charge of VKC Pride footwear shop on this road too said business was low, these days.
However, the hawkers on this stretch, who sell items ranging from footwear and mobile accessories to clothes for men and women have a different story to tell.
Says a hawker, who sells clothes (kurtis, dresses) for women, “We are having good sales since lockdown relaxation in September. The crowd is big on weekends especially on Saturdays.”
Another hawker, who sells men’s footwear, says “Since the March lockdown, we suffered due to poor sales. Now, I’m happy that my business is improving. Several people are buying stuff from me.”
Staff at the popular Sukha Nivas restaurant in the area also said that they are receiving a steady stream of diners after rules were relaxed.
Though shops have taken precautions to prevent virus spread, many people who were shopping from pavement shops of this area had not worn the masks properly. And some were seen without masks. Social distancing too was not maintained by most of them.