Shops Open In Bengaluru In Extended Lockdown, But Get Few Customers

After days of seeing only grocery and medical shops open, Bengaluru's commercial areas certainly looked different after the lockdown was extended for a second time

Coronavirus: Shoppers have started coming out in low numbers during the extended lockdown

Bengaluru:

Bengaluru is in a red zone amid the coronavirus pandemic. Non-essential shops that are not part of a complex were allowed to open from Monday. But with anxiety about the coronavirus continuing - and no public transport - there were few customers. Shoppers who ventured out were still largely doing so only for essential supplies.

After days of seeing only grocery and medical shops open, Bengaluru's commercial areas certainly looked different after the lockdown was extended for a second time.

Shops selling non-essential items were allowed to open with less staff - selling watches, jewellery, clothes, shoes. But there was something missing - customers.

"Absolutely no customers. They are scared to come. It's a fear psychosis in people. I don't think anybody would be coming. We are just going to clean, wait for another one hour and leave," said Nawaz Ahmed, who owns a mattress shop.

Niranjan, the owner of a watch shop, said, "No customers today at all. We opened around 10.30 am but there has not been a single customer. It doesn't make sense to keep the shop open like this. We have to pay the electricity bill and other things. We will see for a day or two. Otherwise, we should close. I don't think it is going to improve in the near future also."

Aftab, the owner of Textile House, said, "We have cleaned it. Done dusting. That is all. Even this month will go like this. They are fearful. No buses. And no money also, I think. Nobody has come in."

The shoppers who were out on Monday were largely still after essential supplies. Two women who had come out with shopping bags said they mostly came for fruit and vegetables.

"We have come here to pick up vegetables, fruit and certain essential things. No plan for other shops today. Probably slowly people will start coming in," said Gowri.

"Not today, but down the line you have to open up such shops because our economy is in need of such inputs," said Subashini.

The lifting of restrictions is being done phase wise and it was known that it is not going to be business as usual for some time.