Kochi markets wait for Christmas

December 11th, 2008 - 8:44 pm ICT by ANI  

By Juhan Samuel
Kochi, Dec.11 (ANI): The countdown to Christmas has started. Traders in gift items and cakes are waiting for the demands to pick up.
The local markets used to witness a heavy demand by this time ahead of Christmas till last year by corporate companies or local customers. But the response is dull.
For Keralaites, the Christmas and New Year celebrations are like Deepawali, the biggest festival of Hindus. The State has a considerable number of Christians. Most of the people here are Christians and many of them are in Gulf countries, who return to homeland during Christmas holidays.
For the big corporate companies, Christmas is a time of showing their prosperity and a warm gesture to their clients for better relations.
During Christmas many people wish to present cakes, chocolates and wines to their relatives.
The actual Christmas and new year sales start well before the Christmas. Shops selling cakes, confectioneries and gift articles used to be a busy place with hands full of advance orders till last year.
“The recent crisis has really effected us a lot and we have started feeling it. Till last year the customers during Christmas used to come and do a lot of cash business. But this year may be because of the financial slowdown, they are not willing to do the same which has badly effected our sales,” said Sandhya Devraj, Supervisor for Lemars Marketing (P) Ltd.
The shops that registered record sales and were sold out of cakes with huge corporate orders earlier are complaining affected sales.
Meanwhile, shopkeepers this time round are keeping their fingers crossed.
They hope the business will pick up in the last hour. Corporates, who are not much affected, are expected to move on with their plans as usual, possibly in an economical way.
Last year, an estimated Rs.25 to 30 crores (250 to 300 million rupees) of cake was sold in Kerala alone. But this year, the sales are expected to hit by 20 to 30 per cent. (ANI)

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