THE FESTIVAL OF SHOPPING DELIGHTS
The festival of lights – Diwali, is huge a celebration all over India as a spectacle to behold not only in the sky but also as an economic boom and the sea of people who throng at local markets. The shops at these markets seem to be dressed to impress to attract shoppers who have come seeking clothes, accessories and gifts to impress friends and family. Attractive displays, bright lights and hoardings of deals and “once in a lifetime” offers repeated almost every year, looking to draw bargain hunters and deal seekers alike to their establishment. One such market in Chennai is situated in the famous shopping district of Chennai, T.Nagar. While it is well known to be a crowded shopping hub all year around, T Nagar witnesses a surge in footfalls as the auspicious day of Diwali approaches.
About T Nagar
T.Nagar, the geographical heart of the city is surely the shopping capital of Chennai. T. Nagar is believed to be conceived in a European style with the Panagal Park resembling the Arc De Triomphe and the avenues of Pondy Bazaar resembling the Champs-Élysées in Paris. Here you can shop for a wide variety goods ranging from clothes and jewellery to groceries and kitchenware from a plethora of local and luxury brands. Located about 10 km from Chennai Airport and about 8 km from Chennai Central railway station it’s no surprise that T.Nagar is always booming with business and always breaking footfall records.
Statistics behind shopping
On any given weekend the demographics show an average footfall of about 500,000 people which soars up to around 2 million making it the biggest shopping district in India by revenue. Official estimates account the revenue as over ₹ 10,000 crores annually, which is still double that of New Delhi’s Connaught Place and Mumbai’s Linking Road which account for about ₹ 4,000 to 6,000 crores annually. The shopping district accounts for 70-80% of the entire gold sold in Chennai and is considered one of if not the most important gold markets in South India.
The jaw-dropping facts and figures don’t lie. The experience of going to a single place to get everything you would need is simply unmatched. Contrary to the 21st century mall culture, T Nagar has standalone stores for brands that stand up to three or four storeys tall. The customer is spoilt for choice in every store and at every turn. This makes the retailers particularly conscious of their USPs, hence making the marketplace much more competitive. This healthy competition gives impetus to top notch customer service. When a customer enters any establishment, the sales staff are quick to greet, smile and guide the customer to the correct counter or floor. Attracting a customer with window displays is one thing, but retaining the customer once he walks in is half the battle won when customer service is excellent.
Shopping is not the only focus of coming to T Nagar. The shoppers are treated to amazing range of culinary fare as well. So getting tired while walking from store to store is not at all an option. From Meals, Fast Food to Authentic Non Veg spreads, T Nagar has it all.
Shopping during a pandemic
With Diwali around the corner, officials state that they are expecting and making due arrangements for a surge in the number of festive shoppers at T.Nagar irrespective of the threat of Covid-19. The numbers are reaching an astounding 8 lakh people at Ranganathan Street, Panagal Park and Pondy Bazar, the main shopping areas of T.Nagar by 6:30pm. Shops that usually lower their shutters by 10pm are keeping them open till 11pm to meet demand and rake in the profits. With the restrictions in working hours lifted, shoppers are out till very late despite the monsoon season to ensure they get everything they need for this festive season. After the dullness of 2020 Diwali thanks to Coronavirus, all families are excited and want to revive the joy of celebrations in full gusto!