KUALA LUMPUR: From thrifty shoppers to the rainy weather, some Deepavali bazaar traders at Little India in Brickfields are lamenting the numerous hurdles that are denting their sales.
N Thanaletchimi, 56, who sells clothes, said shoppers were more careful with their spending nowadays.
She said her sales had dropped from RM1,000 a day last year to around RM400 a day.
“It has been two weeks (since the bazaar opened), but there are not many people coming here. Those who pass by don’t even touch the clothes, and those who are interested end up buying the RM20 clothes instead of the RM35 ones,” she told FMT.
M Shanti, 32, who sells accessories and homemade cookies, said she had to deal with numerous rejections every day as she refused to lower her prices.
She said she had to explain to customers that she was already operating on low profit margins.
“For certain items, my profit margin is only RM4. How can they expect me to go lower?” she said.
Like Thanaletchimi, Shanti is also frustrated with the slow sales after earning only around RM200 a day compared to RM600 a day in previous years.
She hoped that the weather would be favourable for the remaining days before Deepavali on Sunday as many people were expected to do some last-minute shopping.
Another trader, R Thamilarasi, who sells clothes, also complained of slow sales.
She blamed it on the bad weather and customers spending less this year.
“Sales are very bad this year. I have been here every year for seven years, and usually on weekdays, I could rake in RM1,500 a day. (But) now, it’s hard to even get RM500,” said the 43-year-old.
Meanwhile, R Mala, 40, who sells traditional attire, cited the growing preference for online shopping as one of the reasons for the lack of visitors at the Deepavali bazaar.
She said many online vendors had slashed their prices and were willing to make do with slim profit margins, adding that she was unable to do so due to her higher operating costs.
Mala said she was not even sure if she would be able to get a small profit this year.
“I am worried about the lack of sales,” she said.
“I’m standing at this shop from 10am to 2am every day until my feet are swollen. If sales are only enough to break even, it will be like working without a salary.”