Guwahati’s Cosmetic Accessories Market Staring at Probable Closure | Guwahati News

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Guwahati: Fancy Bazar’s Cosmetic Accessories Market Staring at Probable Closure

Barasha Das | October 19, 2020 14:51 hrs

The dreaded virus, face mask, low key celebrations, all add to the low cosmetic and accessories sales this Durga Puja


Durga puja is just a few days away. The dresses have already been purchased and segregated, what to wear on which day. After all, pandal hopping with friends and family is a must. But that’s not enough. A lot of shopping is yet to be done. Matching jewellery to go with each dress, the latest hairpins, and of course make-up. A lighter shade of lipstick to wear during the day and brighter shades for the evenings. 


Wonder what’s the lastest eye make-up trend this puja? Have to purchase different colour palletes. 


This would have been the normal anticipation of every girl one month prior to puja had the situation been normal.  


And Fancy Bazaar- the oldest hub of Guwahati, with its rush and the festive ambiance would have officially marked the advent of the festive season.


But with the contagious deadly Coronavirus to worry about, and a mask covering half the face, spending on makeup doesn’t feel the same anymore.


“It feels like a complete waste. I love lipstick. Would definitely have bought two to three new shades for puja. But with the mask on, there’s no point spending so much. Plus, the cosmetics have a shelf life. God knows for how long we will have to keep wearing the face mask. So better not spend so much on lipsticks,” said Meenakshi Kashyap, a resident of Guwahati.


A round across Fancy Bazar would suppress one’s puja fervour even more. Old well-known establishments, packed with girls round the year like Pick Me, Sangeeta Cosmetics, Haque Market, Attractions, Ahmed Market, all wear a deserted look.


Ahsan Rajeeb, proprietor of Pick me said, “Sales are just 40 percent of the usual. The market was never this bad ever. We don’t know what to expect.”


Customers and sales apart, the whole market gives a ‘stuck-in-time’ vibe.


The Fancy Bazar that boasted of the latest fashion trends with varieties of collections seems dead. Every shop holds limited items from the pre covid times, with dispirited shopkeepers trying to sell them off at overrated prices to make up for the losses incurred during the lockdown.

Ali, owner of an accessories store said, “There is no new stock to be sold as puja collection. Firstly, due to the lack of customers the vigour to invest on new goods is less. And even if we want to, due to the pandemic situation it's not safe to travel.”


“We usually get accessories from Delhi, Mumbai, and Kolkata. We go there to get the goods of our choice and as per the demands in the city market. Now it’s not possible to travel there. We also have families to worry about. Safety comes first. And if we order over the phone, they don’t send very good items. The collections will be old, they will also want to clear off their own old stocks. So most of us have refrained ourselves from ordering.”


So what’s selling and how much are these generations-old shop owners earning?


Everyone doing business in Fancy Bazar collectively speaks in the same vein. “In normal times, during the festive season, we do not even get enough time to eat. The rush is maddening and we continue from 10 am till about 9 pm without breaks. The situation we are now facing is even worse than the off-season market.”


Apparently, the forty percent sales that business owners have claimed to have had is mostly due to bridal shopping. With the advent of the marriage season, shopping for cosmetics and jewelleries are a must. While most people prefer to do such bulk shopping from Kolkata or Delhi, but due to limitations on travelling, the bridal market has been relatively good in Guwahati this year.


“We can consider it as a positive aspect of the pandemic, although the numbers are still very less. Since customers cannot go outside, they placed orders with us. So we are also earning a few bucks. If somehow we can retain this marriage market for the future, it will be easier for us to recover the losses incurred, ” said a shopkeeper.


“I also have a wholesale shop. Local customers are very few even there, but I have managed to send a few consignments to other parts of Assam. My stock is almost over now and I am not sure whether to restock or wait for Diwali,” he added.


Over the years, cosmetics and small accessories have become essentials in every girls’ vanity bags. A part of daily essentials, even the pandemic couldn’t prevent many from collecting these beauty items. This recent fashion attitude has hopefully saved a lot of businesses from shutting shop.


However, with many opting for online shopping not just due to the fear of coronavirus, but also due to the attractive discounts on numerous local and foreign labels, the offline market might be staring at complete closure in the recent future.


What’s trending for girls this pandemic puja?


With such apathy and lack of festive fervour, we spoke to a few of the well known cosmetic shops in Fancy Bazar on what’s trending.


The answer might delight many – it’s eye makeup. With no complete makeup to show off due to the mask cover, bright eye makeup has become the trend. And with winter around the corner, bold colour palettes are high on demand.


Sparkly eye shadows, eye liners, coloured kajal, artificial eye lashes, from daily wear to party wear, anything to up the oomph factor is selling.


And if it’s about lip colour, liquid lipsticks are preferred over the regular crayons, since they are smudge-proof and promise longer-lasting hours even with the mask on.


Brand sales girls are doing their best to sell over the counters, some going the extra length to provide sample styling. 


While popular brands have not hesitated to offer the annual festive discounts, customers remain hesitant.


However, with about six months of lockdown, females of Guwahati have apparently become conscious towards healthy skin. As such, skin care products are saving the day, as demands are high and customers are willing to pay more for good stuff. 


Yet, an overall anticipation of a much better Diwali could be gauged amongst the businessmen.

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