Sale of electronics goods dips as customers play it safe
Udhagamandalam: A familiar figure on Commercial Road, a hub of this hill station for over four decades, septuagenarian M. Sunderrajan, a dealer in electronic and electrical items now doesn’t look as confident as he used to. The reason, he says, “inflation and rising prices have not spared even me or others like me in the mercantile commmunity.” Pointing out that people belonging to the middle class account for about 70 per cent of his business, he says that over the last few months there was a marked fall in the number of persons coming to his shop to buy items like refrigerators and television sets.
On the one hand the implementation of the free colour TV scheme has brought down our turnover significantly and on the other the price burden is keeping people away from shops like mine.
Stating, ‘the rising cost of living affecting the consumers is indirectly hitting us,’ Mr. Sunderrajan says that money which hitherto used to be set aside for buying items like washing machines is now going towards essential commodities. With the cost of electronic items set to go up further in a week or so, “I dread to think of what lies ahead,” he adds.
Though credit sales is not our cup of tea we do not refuse because we cannot afford to lose customers,’ he contends and adds that when the payment is delayed the margin of profit falls. At the same time manufacturers function only on a cash and carry basis.
Owing to the increasing financial difficulties, “I am seriously thinking of diversifying my business activities,” he points out and says that though he belonged to the upper bracket the unprecedented price rise has forced him to make several lifestyle changes. He fears that if steps are not immediately taken to reverse the trend, posterity will find itself in an unenviable position.