Like every year, this time, too, neighbourhood markets in residential colonies look resplendent with local vendors doing up their stalls in colourful rakhis and other assorted knick-knacks. But sales have dipped and vendors look worried.
Raksha Bandhan is on Monday, August 7, this year. But instead of the weekend rush, vendors are having to do with dipping sales.
The prices of rakhis have soared this year — something that has put the vendors in a spot. Mohommad Saleem, a rakhi vendor in Pandav Nagar, said, “This year, prices have really gone up. Rakhis that sold for Rs 100 a piece last year cost Rs 150 or Rs 160 this year — and those that sold for Rs 150 last year are being sold for Rs 200 to Rs 220. Wholesale markets have increased the prices.”
Moreover, online shopping has eaten into the business of small-time vendors. “We make profits only from selling costly rakhis — the ones that are sold for Rs 50, Rs 100, Rs 150 or above. But young people looking to buy expensive rakhis do so online. Our customers now are mostly senior citizens or middle-aged residents — and they prefer relatively inexpensive ones," rued Pankaj Chug, a vendor in Samachar Market, Mayur Vihar Phase I Extension.