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No big impact felt at shopping malls; brands report wedding season lift

Shopping picked up marginally in the weekend due to the wedding season and summer vacation and not because of RBI’s decision to withdraw the highest denomination notes in circulation, brands and mall operators said. However, cash transactions in some stores, showed slight spike.

“People have time till September to use the money, and that is the reason there is no rush this time. The business had started picking up from last week due to the wedding season and we believe that will continue,” said a leading mall operator who did not wish to be identified.

Vijay Sales director Nilesh Gupta also said that the impact was marginal and due to better discounts via credit cards, consumer prefer to use that instead of cash.

Mall operators also said retailers are accepting the ₹2,000 notes and the marginal growth in sale this weekend can also be attributed to consumers shopping for vacations.

Fashion and lifestyle retailers such as Shoppers Stop, H&M, Biba, Puma, among others, are all accepting the notes of ₹2,000 denomination. While some retailers have seen marginal increase in cash transactions at their stores, most said there has been no significant impact on the withdrawal of the notes by the Reserve Bank of India.

“We have seen only a marginal increase in cash purchases at our stores during the weekend,” said a top official of a multi brand retail outlet with stores across India. “The cash component of our sales remains as it was before the withdrawal of the (₹2,000) notes indicating that not too many customers are coming to stores to get rid of the denomination,” said a senior official of an international sports brand.

On Friday, after trading ended in Mumbai’s bond markets, the RBI said it has decided to withdraw the highest denomination notes in circulation and that the public has time until September 30 to deposit or exchange ₹2,000 notes with banks.

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