The coupon sales for the Grand Kerala Shopping Festival (GKSF) has registered a record growth of over 100 per cent this season as against the last year’s figure, V. Madhusoodanan, the GKSF State coordinator, has said.

As the festival approaches the first week of the draw of lots, the coupon sales of the 46-day festival season last year was only 52,52,000, the sales have already crossed around 1.1 crore this time. “Many factors including the direct involvement of merchants and traders in the conduct of the festival, unlike in the last year, have contributed to it,” said Mr. Madhusoodanan.

The maximum number of coupons was sold in Ernakulam district (20 lakh), with Malappuram coming second with a sale of 13 lakh. Around 11,25,000 coupons have been sold in Kozhikode with Thrissur and Kannur occupying the fourth and fifth position selling over 10 lakh coupons.

Till last year, the GKSF was held from December 1 to January 15. But the 2012 GKSF was delayed by 15 days to coincide with the peak tourism season in the State. “This was also done in consultation with the traders,” said Mr. Madhusoodanan.

Increase in registration

According to him, registration of traders and business firms at the festival also marked a visible growth this time with 55,000 firms already making their registration as against 6341 firms last year.

“From Kozhikode alone, nearly 13,500 firms have already registered,” he said.

The registration regime has also undergone changes over the years. It was in three categories (Gold, Silver and General) in the initial five seasons of the festival with a registration fee of Rs.25,000, R.5000 and Rs.1,000 respectively.

Revision

The registration fee structure was revised to Rs.20,000 for Gold category, Rs.5,000 for Silver category and no charge for the general category when the festival was conducted last year. “This year however, no fee was charged from traders for the registration,” he said.

This, he said, was part of a strategy of the government to ensure maximum participation of all categories of traders ranging from a small-time vendor to one from a mega shopping mall in the festival. “By the end of the festival season, we are expecting the registration to hit the 80,000 mark,” said Mr. Madhusoodanan.