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Durga Puja 2022

From malls to markets, Kolkata shops crowded in festive fervour

Acropolis Mall manager sees signs of revenge buying after two years of Covid

Debraj Mitra | Published 29.08.22, 06:32 AM
A crowded New Market on Sunday afternoon.

A crowded New Market on Sunday afternoon.

Gautam Bose

A month to Durga Puja, shoppers flooded malls and markets in the city on Sunday.

From a store selling imitation jewellery in New Market to the outlet of an American fashion brand, shops did brisk business throughout the day.

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The weather was hot and sultry. The shoppers defied the sweaty conditions and made most of the day without showers.

Around 6pm, a series of cars waited to enter the parking lot of Quest Mall in south Kolkata’s Beckbagan. Inside, the stores were buzzing.

Gaurav Joshi, 40, visited the mall with his wife and son.

“This is going to be the first Puja without the scare of Covid. We want to make the most out of it,” said the Picnic Garden resident, who works with an American bank.

Store executives said the purchase pattern signalled that Puja was not far away. “The conversion rate is picking up. One in every two people walking in is buying something,” said an employee of a kidswear store.

An hour earlier, South City Mall was packed to the hilt. So much so that people had to wait even to climb an escalator. The car park was full by 3pm, said a mall official. The additional cars were accommodated on the sprawling compound outside the gates. Scores of cars were parked on the roof.

“We have had at least 3,000 cars and around one lakh visitors,” said Dip Biswas, deputy general manager of South City.

The number was around 75,000 last Sunday, he said.

The trial rooms of stores were always occupied and cash counters had long queues.

Bijaya Sarkar, who works in the office of a private B-school in the city, had come with her daughter. “We started shopping today. It will take two more weekends to finish shopping,” said Sarkar.

The weather was far from comfortable. The maximum temperature was around 34.5 degrees Celsius, up two notches than usual. Some parts of Kolkata got a drizzle for a very short time in the afternoon.

Acropolis Mall also did brisk business throughout the day. Around 7.45pm, the footfall had surpassed 20,000, with a couple of hours still left.

“People are all geared up to spruce up their wardrobes for Durga Puja with revenge shopping this time after a subdued festive shopping in last two years. This weekend, the footfall has gone up by 20 per cent compared to last week’s figure,” said K. Vijayan, general manager of Acropolis.

“We have witnessed a significant jump in sales across all apparel, footwear and cosmetics categories,” he said.

The markets in Gariahat in the south, Hatibagan in the north and New Market in central Kolkata also teemed with shoppers.

Last updated on 29.08.22, 04:24 PM
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