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Durga Puja Countdown

Footfall surge at Kolkata shopping hubs & malls as festive season approaches

Shoppers were out in full force in the city on Sunday

Snehal Sengupta | Published 06.09.21, 07:15 AM
Shoppers at South City Mall on Sunday evening.

Shoppers at South City Mall on Sunday evening.

Picture by Gautam Bose

With a little over a month left before Durga Puja, shoppers were out in force on Sunday.

From a shop selling junk jewellery in south Kolkata’s Gariahat to a denim store in South City Mall, most sellers were happy with shoppers’ footfall since afternoon.

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A steady stream of men, women and children wearing masks poured into City Centre in Salt Lake, South City Mall on Prince Anwar Shah Road and Acropolis Mall near Kasba, as well as in Gariahat. The crowd swelled as the evening set in.

The Telegraph went around to witness the buying spree

City Centre

The mall in Salt Lake had people dropping in since afternoon. 

By 6pm, its parking lot was full.

Visitors were seen heading towards the stores and hanging around after making their purchases at stalls selling tea and snacks.

The restaurants at the mall, too, did brisk business.

The Telegraph spotted a young couple from Salt Lake, Chaitali and Shovik Basu, shopping for clothes. “Last year, we did some last-minute shopping. This year we plan to step out on all puja days for adda with friends because most of us are vaccinated against Covid-19,” said Shovik.

Sukanta Mukherjee, the mall head, said the footfall had been on the rise over the past couple of weeks. 

“We are expecting the tempo to pick up further. Many families who were cooped inside their houses are stepping out. This was not there last year,” he said.

South City

A steady stream of slow-moving vehicles on Prince Anwar Shah Road announced that South City was nearby. Of every six cars moving down the road, three were entering the mall. 
A family of four from New Town’s Rosedale Garden arrived at the mall for shopping and dinner.

Anuj Singh, who dropped in with son Viraj, wife Priyanka and mother, said they had decided to shop and eat out despite the fact that the coronavirus was still “very much around”.

“We decided to step out with our six-year-old son knowing fully well that the threat of Covid-19 is not over yet. However, we cannot be indoors all the time. We are wearing masks and carrying sanitisers,” Singh said.

An employee of a denim outlet at the mall said the number of buyers had increased compared with last month. “Sales are picking up. Last month, there were only a few people who bought garments, but this weekend is promising,” he said.

Deep Biswas, the general manager of South City Mall, said footfall was steadily increasing by the weekend and things were looking up. 

He put Sunday’s footfall in excess of 50,000. The Friday count was 20,000 and Saturday’s 30,000-plus.

Acropolis Mall

At Acropolis Mall, too, Sunday witnessed a bigger turnout compared with the last weekend. The day’s footfall, an official said, touched 30,000.

The general manager of the mall, K. Vijayan, said they had been noticing an upward trend in terms of footfall over the past couple of weeks. 

“The turnout is increasing by 8 to 11 per cent on a daily basis. We are expecting the sales to surge even more as Durga Puja is still a month away,” said Vijayan.

The mall has been decorated with a heart theme aimed at “lifting the spirits of everyone”.

Gariahat

At Gariahat, too, sari shops as well as stalls on the pavement did brisk sales.

The manager of a sari shop said sales were good, especially on weekends.

Last updated on 06.09.21, 07:58 AM
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