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Durga Puja 2022

Puja early shoppers crowd Kolkata malls, markets to trigger revival hopes

With a little over a month left for the festive season, the footfall at the shopping hubs has been increasing

Debraj Mitra | Published 22.08.22, 06:45 AM
South City on Sunday evening.

South City on Sunday evening.

Picture by Gautam Bose

A tour of some of the markets and malls in the city on Sunday signalled that the Durga Puja clock had started ticking.

With a little over a month left for the festive season, the footfall at the shopping hubs has been increasing. Puja starts on October 1 (Sashthi).

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A steady stream of men, women and children poured into South City Mall on Prince Anwar Shah Road and Acropolis Mall near Kasba, both in south Kolkata, throughout Sunday. The crowd swelled as the evening set in.

The Covid threat perception is considerably low this Puja, triggering hopes of a bumper festive season among traders big and small.

A snarl of slow-moving vehicles on Prince Anwar Shah Road suggested that South City was nearby. Of every six cars moving down the road, three were entering the mall. The parking lot was full when The Telegraph visited the mall around 6pm. Two in three people at the mall were maskless. A family of three from Ranikuthi on the southern fringes arrived at the mall for shopping and dinner.

Priyank Singh, who dropped in with wife Madhu and eight-year-old daughter Shreya, said they started shopping early to avoid the “unbearable rush” of the final days before the Puja.

An employee of a menswear outlet said the number of buyers had increased substantially compared with last month. “Sales are picking up fast. Every week is busier than the previous,” he said.

Deep Biswas, general manager of South City Mall, said footfall was steadily increasing by the weekend. On Sunday, over 75,000 people visited the mall, he said.

At Acropolis Mall, too, Sunday witnessed a bigger turnout compared with the last weekend.

“If we compare shopping with 2021, this year is doing 30 to 40 per cent better now. When we compare it with 2019, the footfall figures are on a par but the turnover has increased more than 10 per cent,” said K. Vijayan, general manager, Acropolis Mall.

New Market was chock-a-block around 5pm. The owner of a ladies’ tailoring store in New Market said the crowd had started to pick up. “Hope the coming days are better,” he said.

Last updated on 22.08.22, 09:34 PM
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