Guwahati’s Fashion Hub Shifts From Fancy Bazar To GS Road Ahead Of Durga Puja
• Shift of fashion hub from Fancy Bazar to GS Road
• GS Road includes all the high-end fashion brands
• Not much of profit is being made this year by the retailers in Fancy Bazar
• Decline in sales of around 20% and even by 40% has been witnessed
• The stretch of SS Road and Fancy Bazar is a “no vending zone”
• Customers avoid Fancy Bazar due to lack of parking and congestion
This festive season, the footfall of people is shifting from Fancy Bazar to GS Road where festive shopping is concerned. Fancy Bazar has remained the hub for fashion in the city for a long time but a shift of consumers is being seen from there to GS Road.
With the Puja spirit already consuming the city, Fancy Bazar- the city's central trade hub - has been witnessing a slump in sales this year.
The stretch of GS Road includes all the high-end fashion brands; and it has become one of those stretches which includes all the malls and has been marked as the upcoming shopping hub of Guwahati.
Fancy Bazar used to enjoy increased sales during the festive season for the past many years attracting all classes of people. However, it has failed to attract adequate buyers this festive season.
Although the market was seen to be packed with customers a few days ahead of the Durga Puja, the shop owners and traders have claimed that they are not making as much profit this year comparatively.
Manish Agarwal, a shopkeeper in Fancy Bazar told G Plus, “I own a shop in which you can get of all kinds of puja offering items, since puja offerings are still not readily available in other parts of the city to be precise in shopping malls, we still have superior sales compared to other people who own clothing or fashion-related shops.”
He added “We are still on average sales because the business that I am running is not related to any kind of fashion that keeps changing and that keeps my sale constant. But still, online shopping has taken over our sales to an extent. As people love shopping online sitting in the comforts of their own homes as it is very convenient for them and they also get a wide variety of products to choose from.”
Another shopkeeper speaking to G Plus on the condition of anonymity said, “I am running a business in Fancy Bazar since a long time and I have witnessed a decent footfall of consumers during Puja. But this time it’s different as with passing time people have changed their preferences also. They like to go to shopping malls rather than coming to Fancy Bazar.”
He added, “There is no scope of a bargain but still people go and shop at malls. We have seen a decline in sales by around 20% and in some cases, even by 40%.”
Further, Vikram, a roadside vendor selling women clothes in Fancy Bazar told G Plus, “I can’t keep much items with me for sale because we vendors are no more allowed to sell their goods in this market and the officials come to chase us away often. We don’t know where to go and have been suffering losses. This took place during the last Puja and till date, the situation has not changed much.”
“My business is going in losses. What more can I expect during the festive seasons? Festive seasons were one of those occasions when my business used to flourish and after the ‘no vendors zone’ rule has been implemented one can hardly run his/her business."
Further, the traders at Fancy Bazar which are packed with roadside vendors complained that their profits, too, have taken a hit this year.
In April 2018, after the hawkers were asked to vacate the SS Road by Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC), things have changed in this stretch of the market. The High Court order which was against them left the hawkers high and dry. They could not do much about the forces against them.
Himanshu Agarwal, a shopper present in the City Center mall, told G Plus, “I get time only on a Sunday for shopping and prefer traveling in my own car. Going to Fancy Bazar doesn’t sound good to me. It has issues related to parking; the market is so disorganized I don’t feel like going there in this hot weather.”
“I would rather prefer coming to the mall and spend my time, my purchase from malls will always have bills to it that give me assurance that in any case if I want to return or exchange I can do that easily. But Fancy Bazar would not offer me that comfort.”
Pooja Agarwal, a shopper at HUB mall told G Plus, “Consumers getting attracted to GS Road malls have very specific reasons. Big shopping complexes offer you with huge parking spaces and provide you hassle-free parking and you need not worry about your vehicle, which saves up your time and gives you a hassle-free experience of shopping.”
She added, “Shopping malls are much organized in terms of brands and sections which give you a clear picture of what you want to purchase. Saves you from this harsh climate condition and you can enjoy and have a great shopping experience.”
“All the facilities of cab or rental mode of transportation is available easily and there is not much bad experienced faced, unlike Fancy Bazar,” she added.