The usual last-minute rush at firecrackers shops to celebrate Deepavali is missing this time around

With two more days for the festival of lights, retailers hope the sales might pick up from Friday. They, however, admit that the general rise in prices of firecrackers has dampened sale prospects.

“The cost of most firecrackers has risen by minimum 15 per cent,” said P. Padmakumar, Perunthanni councillor who has set up a shop in West Fort.

“The usual rush has not begun, but we expect it to pick up from Friday,” he said adding that there were quite a few new varieties of firecrackers in the market this year around.

The new varieties are mostly ones attractive to children, such as ‘Ghost’ crackers that take the shape of the animation character Casper, and assorted cartoon characters. Sparklers this year come with four colours on a single sparkler.

The conventional ‘Ola’ and ‘Beedi padakkam’ models too have been stocked, said Mr. Padmakumar.

While the new varieties are brought from Sivakasi, the rest are sourced from units in Nandiyode, near the city.

The season is yet to bring cheer to Malapadakkam.com as well, an online firecracker booking and delivery option launched by a group of techies.

According to Sharat, the number of calls this year was yet to pick up. Further, people were inquiring about rise in prices, since the number of items that usually come in a Rs.1,000 pack, had gone down considerably this year.

But there still are calls coming in, and with two more days, those in the business are keeping their fingers crossed.