Local Shimla Market Sales Down

Shimla’s local vendors hit by online shopping fever, yearly sales down by 50%: SBM

SHIMLA- It’s Valentine week and social networking sites are abuzz with activity. Online shopping sites too are making the most of the occasion by offering discounts, affecting the business of local traders.

The sale of gift items ranging from beautiful greeting cards, roses, stuffed toys, chocolates to personalised gifts has gone down as tech-savvy youngsters prefer buying stuff online.

Our sales have gone down by 50 per cent this year. Nobody buys greeting cards from stores these days,

said owner of a gift store Pankaj Sharma.

We are pinning hopes on February 13 and 14 as people who are not inclined to the Internet or those who could not order anything online would visit our store,

he added.

The sales have dropped by 40 to 50 per cent. Customers come to our shops, check gift items and then order those online to save money,

said president of the Shimla Beopar Mandal Inderjit Singh.

People now shop through websites and get good discounts, which we cannot offer. If the trend continues, small retailer will be vanished soon,

said Pradeep Chauhan, an electronic store owner.

Trader body has been urging the government to impose tax (value added tax) on online stores. Citing the loss to the government, Shimla Beopar Mandal president Inderjeet Singh said online stores have been giving tough competition for physical retailers, not only here, but across the country.

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