As the pandemic spreads, shopkeepers say no one comes shopping anymore

Updated: Mar 18, 2020, 07:54 IST | Diwakar Sharma, Faizan Khan | Mumbai

With most offices shut and people working from home, the number of shoppers on the street has drastically come down in the last few days

Fashion Street shopkeepers are complaining that the footfall of customers has reduced by 90 per cent in last few days. Pic/Ashish Raje
Fashion Street shopkeepers are complaining that the footfall of customers has reduced by 90 per cent in last few days. Pic/Ashish Raje

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) officials have started dispersing people gathering at high streets such as Fashion Street, Colaba market, Crawford market and other prominent places where buyers usually throng for shopping.

The assistant commissioner A-Ward BMC Chanda Jadhav said, "We have requested the shopkeepers at the high streets to shut their business as a precautionary measure to help us in combating further spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19)."

Since the pandemic has spread its fangs in India, the footfall at high streets in the city has reduced alarmingly low.

Virender Kandu, shop owner at Fashion Street
Virender Kandu, shop owner at Fashion Street

There are about 400 shops at Fashion Street and the shopkeepers have been complaining that the footfall of customers has reduced by 90 per cent in the last few days. However, they have decided to follow the BMC orders and shut down their business until further notice.

"Since the outbreak, the shoppers have become cautious and stopped coming to market. Only 10 per cent of shoppers are coming these days. I never faced such crisis at Fashion Street," Virender Kandu, who owns an apparel shop at Fashion Street since last 25 years said.

"Most of the shopkeepers have to travel a lot to reach Fashion Street to open the shop. We have been risking our lives in the crowded local trains to reach here and it is very painful when we don't sell a single product after waiting for the whole day," he added.

Another shopkeeper Jitendra Yadav said, "Our daily turnover used to be R5,000 but these days, we have been incurring a huge loss. These days we are saving about R400 every day."
There are 41 positive COVID-19 cases in Maharashtra with one casualty - the worst hit among other states in India. Hence to avoid escalation, the state government has announced partial lockdown in Mumbai where schools, colleges, multiplexes, shopping malls, gyms, swimming pools, etc have been shut till further notice.

400
Total no. of shops at Fashion Street

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