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Holiday spirit shines bright at shopping hotspots

Staff Reporter

But this has not translated into more sales this year, say shopkeepers

— Photo: G.R.N. Somashekar

Deck the streets:Multicoloured Christmas stars, and decorations in red, white and green line the shops along the bustling Commercial Street in Bangalore.

Bangalore: Step into the bustling Commercial Street and the first colours that hit you are red, white and green. Multicoloured Christmas stars and bright festive lights are hung all along the stretch, giving the entire area an unmistakable holiday spirit.

Gaily decorated Christmas trees, huge snowflakes and imitations of holly leaves deck the storefronts all along the road. Every store's finest red and white clothes collections, modelled by mannequins in jolly Santa hats, fill up the windows. As if this were not tempting enough, almost all shops boast a year-end sale.

Among the shoppers, many are young mothers with their children trying to finish their festive shopping. For others, Christmas shopping is a family affair, with grandparents walking hand-in-hand with grandchildren, while the parents follow.

There are also quite a few foreigners on Commercial Street. “There's a lively Christmas spirit on this road,” says Aieman Moodley, a South African visiting Bangalore with her husband, Ramesh, for the holiday season.

Place to be

Another popular shoppers' haunt in the city is Brigade Road. However, the festive decorations here are confined to each shop, rather than a collective street-wide show.

“On New Year's Eve though, Brigade Road becomes the place to be,” says Suhail Yusuff, secretary of the Brigade Shops and Establishments Association. “All the shops on the road close early, and the whole street is transformed into a huge floor for the New Year's party.”

‘Miserable' sales

However, he notes that although there has been an increase in sales when compared to the rest of the year, this festive season “has been miserable when you look at sales during the same period in previous years.”

Many shopkeepers on Brigade Road agree with him. J.J. Nathu, manager of Metro shoe store, attributes the drop in sales to the mushrooming of malls in the city. “Since the malls offer a variety of things under a single roof, people are more inclined to do their shopping there.” All the same, most shopkeepers are hopeful that the sales will improve in the run-up to the New Year.

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