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Rediff News  All News  » Business » Welcome to India's discount economy

Welcome to India's discount economy

August 13, 2013 09:20 IST

It is not just the end of season sale in retail with luxury to mass malls slashing prices. Companies, hit by a dip in demand across sectors, have been forced to cut rates, even at the cost of losing margins.

Besides malls and high-street stores, there's a rush of discounts while you are flying or holidaying in fancy hotels. Even telecom companies are trying their best to keep users hooked by cutting tariffs for data usage.

For watching films, too, there are freebies, along with theatre tickets at some venues. Restaurants, mostly fast food joints, offer burgers at never-before prices. Builders, not really known for their generosity, are there, too, with sops.

Even sport events have joined the race, in their bid to make Indian consumers loosen their purse strings.              

Travel service provider Yatra, for instance, is offering 50

per cent off on domestic hotels bookings. Airlines like Jet Airways and SpiceJet cut fares by over 50 per cent for domestic flight for a limited period, second such sale this year. Telecom companies such as Reliance Communciations and Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd are selling discounted data cards and even upgrading services from 2G to 3G.

The pricey Grand Prix tickets are available at a handsome discount with a grand stand seat available for Rs 21,000 instead of Rs 30,000, for the coming edition in October.

While sale period kicks in during the change of seasons, experts are calling these discounts more of distress liquidation of stock. First quarter results paint a dreary picture, which analysts say will get even darker with the second quarter.

“The economy is in a tailspin. Customer sentiment is poor and inflation very high. Companies went into the sale season much ahead of time, after already cutting margins in the June quarter. This will reflect poorly in the next quarter results,” said Arvind Singhal, chairman of Technopak Advisors.

Ruchika Chitravanshi in New Delhi