Way back in September 1951, Chitra Agencies launched a stationery shop near the Luz Circle junction. Now, it is shutting down because of work for the Chennai Metro rail project in which Luz will see a major development.
Over the last seven decades this business has provided exclusive stationery items to the Amalgamation Group in addition to over the counter stationery products.
But now, the art deco shopping complex where Chitra Agencies and other shops are housed, near Navashakthi VInayaka Temple will be affected by the Metro line civil work that is begin soon.
The entire complex comprising many retail shops was originally owned by Rao Bahadur Appa Rao who later sold it to Viveks in the 1980s.
Ashok, son of K. S, Easwaran who launched Chitra Agencies told Mylapore Times that with the impending sale of this complex to CMRL ahead of the Metro Rail work, he had to close down the shop that had been there for over 70 years.
“My appa wanted this to stand for quality and set the highest ethical standards. This helped us earn goodwill of customers, most of whom have been with us for several decades,” he said.
The pandemic had a big impact on the retail business. “With the change in the consumption pattern arising out of the growth of the online business, our business was badly affected during the two years of the pandemic”, he said.
His brother, who takes care of the corporate sales business, has moved to Alwarpet and operates from there.
Ashok says he is confident of coming back strong in 2023. “Though I contemplated retirement in this phase, long standing customers have been a motivation for me to explore another location within Mylapore area. I am hoping to re-launch in a new location in Mylapore within the next month or so and it will be a new beginning for Chitra Agencies”, he said.
- Report, photo: S. Prabhu