Lucknow: The two-day Dhanteras festival this year has raked in massive profits for all sectors in the state capital.
The automobile sector in the city recorded almost double business on Saturday and Sunday compared to last year’s Dhanteras.
According to Sanjay Gupta, the president of UP Adarsh Vyapar Mandal, the market recorded substantial growth in the sales of four-wheelers and two-wheelers this year when compared to last year.
“About 800 four-wheelers and 300 two-wheelers worth Rs 59 crore were sold on Dhanteras last year. However, the market recorded a massive surge in business this year as about 1500 four-wheelers and 500 two-wheelers worth Rs 170 crore were sold in the last two days,” he said on Monday.
The trend in the automobile market favoured high-end cars and bikes.
“The entry level cars seem to be losing sheen and people are aiming higher. Even in the two-wheeler segment, people have opted for swanky bikes, irrespective of the cost,” said Somesh, a salesman in an automobile showroom.
Smartphone sales also saw an upswing after a two-year lull though the figure was much lower compared to pre-pandemic period.
The sales of mobile phones witnessed a big boom as compared to last year’s Rs 6 crores.
According to Lucknow Traders Association (LTA), smartphones worth Rs 17 crore were sold in the past two days (Saturday and Sunday). The reason, traders said, has been the offers that lured the customers to buy smartphones offline.
The offers included zero interest, e-commerce-like comparable pricing of a few phones, free gifts to customers and lucky draw coupons.
Sunil Arora, a shop owner in Sri Ram Tower, which is a hub of mobile phone shops, said that finally people were preferring offline purchases of mobiles after a series of fraud incidents in online purchases.
UP Mobile Association president and LTA senior vice-president Neeraj Johar said, “We had offered many deals and schemes to attract the customers and give tough competition to e-commerce sites, which turned out to be a huge success.”
Dhanteras, however, failed to bring cheer to the electronic goods market as the sales actually went down as compared to last year.
The sale of LED TV, air conditioner, refrigerator, washing machine and microwave fetched Rs 20 crore in comparison to last year’s Rs 27 crore, said office bearers of Electronic Vyapar Mandal, Lucknow.
They said that this was mainly due to the e-commerce sites that had been offering massive discounts. Several dealers said that this was not offering a level playing ground to offline sellers.
A closer look revealed that the sales of items like air conditioner, LED TVs and microwave was around Rs 9 crores, compared to Rs 17 crore last year. However, the sale of refrigerators and washing machines registered a slight increase from Rs 10 crores last year to Rs 11 crores this year.
Dinesh Jain, of Lucknow Electronics Vyapar Mandal, said that “Another major factor, it appears, was decline in purchasing power of the people due to rise in inflation.”
The gold business in the state capital also remained stagnant for the consecutive year in Dhanteras, but the sale of silver showed a steady rise.
Vice president, Chowk Sarafa Market Adesh Kumar Jain said that this year around 41 kg of gold and gold jewellery worth Rs 21.7 crores were sold till 10 p.m. on Sunday.
In comparison, about 600 kg silver and silver products worth Rs 4.3 crores were sold, he added.
The figures are expected to increase by 3-5 per cent till midnight, he added.
Ayushi Rastogi, owner of a local jewellery brand, said that customers are preferring silver because many social media influencers these days are promoting silver jewellery.
Traders were also of the view that the people, who cannot afford gold, buy silver.