Hyderabad

Grocery store owners have a reason to smile

People at a fair price shop at Aravind Nagar for collecting the rations granted by the government during the lockdown imposed in view of COVID-19.

People at a fair price shop at Aravind Nagar for collecting the rations granted by the government during the lockdown imposed in view of COVID-19.   | Photo Credit: G_RAMAKRISHNA

Lockdown has resulted in higher than normal sales, many outlets double up as makeshift vegetable markets

The mom-and-pop grocery store owners are perhaps the only businessmen who are smiling as Hyderabad goes into a grim lockdown to prevent the spread of Novel Coronavirus pandemic. “We are having higher than normal sales. I just wish I had more stocks and more space to store them. Everything is moving fast from agarbatti to rice to soaps to milk. We are selling more milk than earlier,” says Mahender Reddy, who runs a small retail outlet near the Eshwar Theatre.

Sensing an opportunity, other businessmen are turning their shops into grocery and vegetable outlets. “I have a tailoring and maggam unit but that cannot be kept open. For the past four days I am buying vegetables from Gudimalkapur and selling them here. It is better than having no work,” says Sukhinder.

A few yards from his shop is Anoop, the owner of Balaji Selection, a cloth store that dealt with school uniforms. Now, Anoop is selling vegetables neatly laid out in front of his shop. “There is no trouble selling vegetables. The only condition is I have to close by 6 p.m. when the police patrol van comes this way and orders us to shut down,” says Anoop, who has turned his shop into vegetable mart over the last three days.

Many of the grocery owners rue the short notice they got to stock up. “We went to Medak for a family event and rushed back after hearing about Janata Curfew. We did not anticipate this longer lockdown and frenzy of buying; and we don’t have enough stocks. Otherwise, we would have done more business,” says Chandrasekhar at his family run outlet near Nalanda Nagar.

However, as grocery shops are the only ones open, in many areas they are turning into hangout places with people loitering near them.

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Printable version | Apr 5, 2020 4:28:56 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/grocery-store-owners-have-a-reason-to-smile/article31175935.ece

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