The Tamil month of Aadi ushers in a liberal splash of freebies and discounts in the market. The Monsoons may belie your expectations but the business houses, retailers, traders and merchants will not. For, in their own interest and the benefit of consumers, it will be ’raining’ tempting offers.
Aadi rings in lot of cheer, its celebrations marking the birth of the fourth month of Tamil calendar, from July 15 to August 15. It is believed that the ’Surya’(Sun God) transits from the Northern Hemisphere to the Southern heralding the onset of festive season.
Yet, Aadi holds a dubious distinction. On one hand it is considered inauspicious to start anything new – like a new business venture, marriages, upanayanams and house warming ceremonies. But it not only kick starts a series of festivals that go on up to the Tamil month of Marghazhi, it has also come to be a boom time for business.
What goes hand-in-hand is Aadi and festival sales. More often, the aadi sale extends beyond a month with customers on a buying spree. The retailers especially textiles and jewellery merchants cash in on this freewheeling mood of customers with attractive and hefty discounts on their products.
"Many people do shopping as a matter of habit. These habitual consumers prefer to wait through the year only for the Aadi discounts and make purchases for other important festival occasions like Diwali, Ramzan or Pongal," notes a textile shop owner in Anna Nagar.
Says a leather products merchant : "Aadi is the month most look forward to due to the discount schemes offered. Establishments clear their old and existing stocks that don’t move off the shelf. The idea is to replenish them with fresh stocks for the oncoming festive season."
If special offer schemes and discounts are the `mantras’ to spur sales, then indeed the customer is made to feel like the king.
There is no dearth of choice and price war prompting people to strike the best bargain during Aadi.
"Surely it is the best time to buy good things and cheaper rates. But one also has to be wary of shopkeepers passing of damaged or defective items since they are eager to finish off their stocks and therefore offer such throwaway prices," points out a house wife.
However, traders and retailers insist that they are not really moving old stock. In fact, the business has caught on so much that even for Aadi they need to get new and good stuff. Barely a decade ago, Aadi sale was synonymous with just five per cent discount in the biggest textile shop in the city. Before that only dress materials were sold at minimal discounts during Deepavali and Pongal.
Considered an inauspicious month for wedding and related ceremonies, Aadi always tended to bring down the turnover for businessmen. Also coming after the start of the academic year, purchases were always considered a heavy toll on the economy of average families.
But then came the highly successful concept of Aadi discount which simply turned the tables. What started as a marketing gimmick to allure customers during lean season, it picked up fast than perceived. The concept of Aadi discounts seems to have beaten all other seasons. Discounts and sales both hit an upswing during Aadi which has now become a saviour for the business houses by virtue of sheer volume of sales.
"The heavy price reductions helps budgeting big events like kids birthday parties. I complete my shopping for return gifts and other birthday purchases during Aadi. Several other Aadi offers are too tempting to miss," quips a school teacher.
What started with textiles has now spread to every possible item from vessels, to jewellery, electronics and furniture. "In these days of inflation, Aadi is the best platform available to public to go for heavy shopping for occasions like weddings and betothrals since even major silk giants offer fascinating schemes," says a retired government employee.
During Aadi, business houses work on no or minimum margin profit to inflate their sales.
But they assure there is never any compromise on quality of their products. In fact, such is the rush and demand for things during Aadi, that it is no longer about exhausting old stocks. Rather, new stocks are procured during Aadi. So much so that in years to come, there will also be Aadi launches.
The happy beaming faces of shopkeepers and shoppers say it all that Aadi sale is a win-win situation. Unique in a way because by spending more, you in fact end up saving! So don’t give a go-by to buzzwords like "Aadi kondattam", "Aadi bonanza" or "Aadi thallupadi." It is that time of the year when you can leave your worries and loosen your purse strings and enjoy some wholesome and economical shopping. Simply decide where to put your money — clothes, jewellery, durables or computers – and then plunge!