Posted in Economic

Diwali Sale

Surprisingly the safety shoes for engineers and office shoes are best at Hush Puppies that we normally associate with dainty feminine strappy sandals! I am not into HP at all like many women are. Just own a single pair over 12 years old but that still is doing good which can double up as testimony to the brand. Men aren’t big shoppers like we ladies are. So my hubby just wanted to have a look not buy really before comparing prices. Caught off guard when the sales girl told us that a 50% off was on. The catchy ‘buy one get one free’ thing we all lap up so enthusiastically and end up piling the mountain of clothes that we hardly get to wear! The leather shoes were too good and we ended up buying a pair for him on good bargain. So we asked the girl why wasn’t the thing advertised? Not even a board display? We know what a sale at HP means to discerning customers. Boy haven’t we been amused by the rush year after year. To which the girl who was also their cashier replied, in middle east, any sale had to have a premier first, and then get the ministry clearance. There would be audit inspections so that the sale is effective and not a hogwash. So the sale we have in the malls with their global brands just do not happen at the whim of the enterprises. Its a long drawn legal-bureaucratic affair culminating in the sale we all throng. The process for initiating the sale commences months earlier seeking approvals and submitting figures waiting for sanctions. Really? I am a resident of middle east for 15 years now although I fly up and down on and off. I am aware of the rules and regulations and guidance regarding bumper prizes, lotteries etc., that we have in the shopping malls. The sale must give genuine discounts and must not be eye-wash. A sale meant a REAL SALE in this part of the world – of that much I was aware. Which is why we the NRI community as well as other expats always prefer to wait for the sale. Its a big, big draw for us women naturally who would go for the bags and shoes and clothes and skincare not to leave out the home linen and even cutlery. The footfall in the malls you know when you see it – like you are having a stampede!

In other words the counter girl said, the application for sale was processed but until it was received, the sale could not be announced to the world. Any walk-in customer could be appraised of the prevailing discounts, that’s all.

Really impressed with the system we have here that makes sure that the consumers’ interests are well protected and that we have value for money. The discounts are genuine and are a shopper’s delight. Good administration is all about regulation and fair and even and transparent functioning of institutions that hold the power to influence a society. The benefits if any are passed on to the masses without holding back. How many checks at every level.

I wonder what is the protocol that we have in India when it comes to the marathon sale beginning with Aadi discounts in Chennai showrooms to gallop at full throttle through the Navrathri and then the unstoppable Diwali season followed by Christmas and Pongal. The merchandise under purview is not limited to clothing. Jewelry shares the top spot with silks and other apparels. Even bags and shoes and watches are on sale. The entire spectrum is on the ‘off’ mode to put it in nutshell. From electronics to even bank loans and cell phones and laptops, virtually everything is subsidized on Diwali offer.

But then,

  • ARe the sale of clothing/merchandise/electronic/jewelry/footwear/accessories or whatever we have in India regulated? If so, by which authority, state or central govt.
  • Are the sale genuine sale. Is the discount REAL DISCOUNT compared to the MRP (marked up retail price). One often gets a feeling that the prices are hiked before the sale and during the sale the prices are at par with MRP levels in India.
  • Do we have any inspection checks at every stage to ensure that the sale announced are genuine and that the consumers are not taken for a ride.
  • Are the govt sops passed on to customers during the sale.

I don’t deny that India is an ocean and we do already have in place various mechanisms to facilitate workings of these nature. Yet I would like to know or confirm from someone that there is in place such an effective system in India when it comes to discounts offered by retailers during festive sales in India. What a timing. Aren’t we now precisely primed for the Deepavali. We are bred on the psychology of waiting for the Diwali or New year sale for going for the latest smart tv or Android phone or clothes or even for booking that flat in ECR. We Indians are hopelessly addicted to ‘sale’ aren’t we. My friend used to joke, ‘osila kudutha phenyl kooda kudippom’ which means if phenyl is offered for free drink, we shall drink it too! Sadly this is our mass mentality.