The rains are here to stay, and if you haven’t already, it’s time to brave the showers and go get yourself the monsoon gear that will make the next few months more endurable. But brace yourself for a surprise, and not the pleasant kind. The prices of umbrellas, raincoats and windcheaters this year have risen considerably.
Salespersons at Vashi’s APMC market said that customers who have been arriving at their shops have been bargaining hard this year, as they are shocked by the steep rise in prices.
According to shopkeepers, the rates have risen by a good 20-30 per cent this year. “These products are seasonal. However this year, they have risen sharply. Umbrellas, which were being sold for Rs150 last year are going for Rs 195 this year.
The two-fold umbrellas, which cost Rs 200 last year, are being sold for Rs 250 this year. We haven’t raised prices – the umbrellas were sent from the company with higher prices,” said a salesperson at one of the stores in APMC.
Viren Gala, a shopkeeper, said, “There are certain brands which are very popular among certain customers, although they may be much expensive than the unbranded ones. Of course, the branded ones last much longer.”
With schools reopening this week, parents have been pouring in with children to get them brand new rainwear. Chandraprakash Singh, from one of the stores, said, “Character-based rainwear featuring Angry Birds, Doraemon, Chota Bheem for boys and Barbie and Princess for girls have been popular with the kids. They also love raincoats with pictures of their favourite cartoon characters printed on them.”
Several companies in the area have been placing bulk orders for their employees for windcheaters. Mahendra Shah, one of the storeowners in Vashi, explained that many people prefer buying rainwear from APMC market, as they are cheaper than what is available at regular stores in the market.