GEORGE TOWN, Oct 19 – Last minute shoppers are enjoying massive discounts as traders engage themselves in a price war to attract customers with just two more days to go before Hindus celebrate Deepavali. Traders have also extended their business hours, some even up to midnight, for the benefit of customers to shop at leisure.
The move seems to be working since traders are enjoying brisk business as shoppers, mainly Hindus, are flocking to shopping malls because this will be the last weekend before celebrating Deepavali on Wednesday. Traders in Little India, here, have put up additional canopy to cater for the high demand and to display their goods, outside their premises, to ease shoppers when choosing their preference.
There are also stalls put up by petty traders along the foot-path. Anita Saree Centre owner M.P Alagarsamy, 73, said his shop offered 40 percent discount for various types and designs of sarees, punjabi suits, jippas and kurti while business was open until 12 midnight. “Our products are priced from RM30 onwards, depending on the type of material, design and fabric. Most of our customers are regulars and they frequent our shop because of the reasonable prices offered,” said Alagarsamy who has been in business at Lebuh Penang, here for more than 30 years.
GK Boutique owner Gurmit Singh, 41, said he would even offer discounts of up to 70 percent because Deepavali comes only once a year but added that discounts are not restricted to Hindus alone but all races. He said about 10 percent of his customers were Malays and Chinese who come around to shop for Indian dresses to attend weddings, dinners or Deepavali open house.
Muruku seller K. Murthy, 61, said since Deepavali was just two days away, he would sell his products at wholesale prices because the Muruku manufactured by his family would not be sold after Deepavali. “Our Muruku is hand-made and every year we sell about 30,000 to 40,000 packets, excluding special orders,” he said.
Florists P. Gunathan, 38, meanwhile, advised his regular customers and would be customers to place their orders for flowers since supplies from Thailand and Cameron Highlands are snapped up like hot cakes. Gunathan said for this year’s Deepavali, orchids were in high demand although he sold about 30 odd types of flowers.