COVID-19 is last straw for Bengaluru's ailing toy shops

COVID-19 is final straw for Bengaluru's ailing toy shops

Representative image.

It is not just the airlines and travel firms that are badly hit by the coronavirus threat, small businesses such as those selling toys are also left shuddering under its looming shadow. 

For the city’s ubiquitous toy shops, the infection has come as the last straw, as they already ail from recession and a thinning footfall. 

While the big stores that sell branded items manage to get by, the impact is particularly hard on small toy shops. Their owners said the freeze on the import of Chinese toys and a drop in footfall had dealt a particularly severe blow. 

"The demand for toys had fallen over the past few weeks," said Shivu, manager at Toons Toys. "Our suppliers have stopped Chinese-made toys since there’s an import ban. Right now, only Indian toys are on the shelves." 

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While clothing stores partially depend on toy sales, they agree that the impact is quite telling. Jyothi, manager at Chubby Cheek, said sales had dropped considerably. "We haven’t ordered much stock since there are a few buyers. The available stock is three months old," she said, adding that toys are just a part of the business. 

With malls closing down for a few weeks, toy shops functioning inside them are also closed. “We are pushing ahead with whatever we have," Dilip Kumar, owner, V S Toys, a supplier, said. "There’s no import from China. The stores we could supply in bulk (inside the malls) are also shut." 

Also Read: Coronavirus India update: State-wise total number of confirmed cases

D'Souza, owner, Toys N Toys, pointed out to multiple factors that slowed down the sales. "We have Indian-made toys from Mumbai and Delhi on the shelves now. No Chinese toys. Moreover, there is also a recession in the backdrop. We’ll continue sales so long as the suppliers have stock,” he said.

While the bigger stores have no challenges in terms of supply, the thinning footfall had prompted them to cut down their operations.

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