Hyderabad: Merchants at the enduring Numaish 2020, especially cloth sellers from North India, were deeply dissatisfied this year. There are those who lost up to 40 per cent due to various reasons, even as the 45-day long exhibition is nearing conclusion.
At the 80th All India Industrial Exhibition popularly known as Numaish, cloth traders are experiencing losses with almost 40 per cent of stock yet to be disposed of. For the last few years, traders — specifically ones from Kashmir, Delhi, Lucknow, Rajasthan, and other states — saw declining sales.
Irrespective of the number of visitors, which has mostly remained constant compared to previous years, merchants are eager for customers.
According to the stall owners, the dwindling number of customers has vexed sellers during the last two to three years.
This year, traders claimed maximum losses. “With only two-three days before the closure of the exhibition’s ending, diminishing sales mean greater losses, as 60 per cent of the business decreased this year compared to previous years. That too, due to the last year’s fire,” said Ahmed Khan, the owner of a silk sarees and dress materials stall.
While there were various reasons for the low trader, price increases on various items were deterrents.
Vendors have also had to shell out huge amounts for rent which includes insurance, power connections and etc.
“Higher rents have resulted in greater prices on items, thereby hampering purchasing power,” said a stall owner.
Under the condition of anonymity, a stall owner from J&K lamented, “Kashmir is facing shut down for around six months due to national issues. With business at a halt in the Valley, some traders hoped to make some money at Numaish. This year buyers are scarce.”
Card swiping machines, ATMs deal major gust
With the annual exhibition set to end on February 15, traders hope business will pick up. While most patrons are anticipating last day discounts, the vendors are ready to yield on maximum markdown.
But customers who are visiting the stalls are unable to transact digitally as there are technical difficulties like card swiping in machines via network-related problems on the exhibition premises. “During afternoon hours, the machine works, but as the increasing presence of visitors jams the network signal,” a seller complains.
Vendors don’t mind paying extra rent if stalls have a WiFi facility that easily facilitates digital transactions.
Moreover, stall owners venture with the customer to an ATM outside the premises, to complete a transaction. “The ATMs in the exhibition grounds are also running out of cash. So we are forced to leave for transactions,” a trader claimed.
Joshua Peter, a Numaish visitor, loves purchasing Pashmina shawls. But when attempting to do so with his debit card, the machine didn’t comply. “My family and I had to unfortunately leave without buying some items that we wanted,” he added.