After two years, Deepavali crowds return to Bengaluru

After two years, Deepavali crowds return to Bengaluru's shopping streets

Several businesses say 100% of their usual crowd has come back

KR Market and the surrounding areas were swarming with shoppers on Thursday. Credit: DH Photo/Pushkar V

Deepavali shoppers are finally returning to most of Bengaluru's business hubs after a gap of two years.

Commercial Street, Chickpet, Gandhi Bazaar, Jayanagar and Malleswaram have been witnessing a steady flow of festive shoppers with most businesses saying a majority of their customers have come back. The only exception is Brigade Road, where business hasn't moved beyond 20%.

Commercial Street, one of the major shopping hubs in the city, started getting the business back around Dasara. Several businesses say 100% of their usual crowd has come back. “We had a fantastic season this October and we can say this was our pre-lockdown festival crowd," said Sanjay Motwani, president, Commercial Street Traders' Association.

Business has improved by 50% compared to last year. “Almost 60-75% of pre-Covid business was seen in the last few weeks. We are hopeful that if there is no third wave of Covid, we will be back to 100% business by New Year," said Sajjan Raj Mehta, a trade activist.

As the festive season has coincided with the reopening of schools this year, traders in Chickpet and Gandhinagar are reporting bumper sales in both fashion goods and educational materials, setting up a rare record. "Not just clothes, shoes and jewellery, people are also buying school uniforms, bags and stationery," a trader said.

The festival shopping buzz, however, is missing in Brigade Road. "Brigade Road is almost a dead road. There are only a handful of customers. Business isn't more than 20%," said Sohail Yusuf of the Brigade’s Shops and Establishments Association.

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