As a quick solution to overcome the huge loss they suffered during the first two years of the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, small-scale traders in the district are trying to take advantage of the night shopping festivals with attractive reductions and promotional offers. The support of various government departments and the interest of customers to enjoy night shopping have come in favour of the traders to experiment with the new option.
Functionaries of various merchant organisations say the success of the night shopping festival on S.M. Street has prompted many local traders to think of the same in their own villages or municipality limits. Committees have already formed in different areas to coordinate the fest in an attractive way with various cultural programmes and food fests.
As of now, the traders are permitted to keep their shops open till midnight during night shopping festivals. Though priority is mainly on hosting seasonal fairs, the organising committees have the freedom to choose the festival period considering the turnout of buyers and the market trends. Other than just keeping the shops open, a number of attractive elements to spice up the shopping moment are under the consideration of the organisers.
“As weekend sales can assure better returns, many traders are interested in joining the night shopping festival on weekend. The S.M. Street model is seemingly adoptable for many to begin with,” said a Kerala Vyapari Vyavasayi Ekopana Samithi (KVVES) leader from Kozhikode. He said the details of regional units planning to host the night shopping festival in areas like Koduvally, Feroke, Mukkom, and Thamarassery would be announced soon.
KVVES leaders from Kunnamangalam said they launched a 10-day night shopping festival on Friday to explore the sales opportunities. According to them, one of the main attractions of the fest would be a de-congested ambience without many vehicles. They said there would be sufficient parking space for the customers to enjoy a peaceful shopping with attractive offers. A logo was also released to promote the event.
“In many foreign countries, night shopping is a culture and attraction. In Kerala, the traders and customers are yet to explore its possibilities. For the traders on S.M. Street, the shopping festival was a big relief to overcome the pandemic-induced crisis,” said V. Mohammed, salesperson at a textile shop on the street. He said better options for entertainment and dining would double the charm of such night shopping festivals in the district.