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Temple frenzy gives 100 per cent lift to spiritual merchandise sales


New Delhi: T-shirts printed with the slogan ‘Jai Shree Ram’, flags with images of Hanuman and replicas of the Ram Mandir are flying off the shelves of offline retailers and ecommerce platforms as the consecration of the new temple in Ayodhya nears.

Executives at ecommerce companies and general trade said sales of spiritual merchandise have increased two to three times compared with normal days, even as sellers such as Prabhu Bhakti, Ayodhyapati and HindK stores have flooded online platforms.

Ecommerce platform Flipkart has listed T-shirts and flags for cars, bikes, cycles and windows printed with the words Jai Shree Ram, and images of the temple and Hanuman as “hot deals”. Rival Amazon shows Ram T-shirts as “trending”.

Both Flipkart and Amazon declined to comment. “We have observed a 3X increase in demand for products related to the cultural significance of the event, such as Ram Mandir models and T-shirts,” said a spokesperson at Meesho, another ecommerce platform. Gaurav Marya, chairman of licensing and franchising consultancy Franchise India, said: “Ayodhya-related products are currently an ‘open IP’, which has led to dozens of sellers on ecommerce platforms and general trade seeing 100% increase in sales.”

Temple Frenzy Gives 100% Lift to Spiritual Merchandise Sales

Open IPs are intellectual properties that are not licensed to specific companies, and which do not restrict anyone to leverage an event for merchandise sales.

While Ayodhya has a current population of about 350,000 people, travel and tourism industry executives expect eight to ten times as many people to visit the temple town in the coming days.

“The spiritualism and back-to-roots wave is leading to an unprecedented surge in sales of Ram Mandir-related categories,” said Kumar Rajagopalan, chief executive of the Retailers Association of India. Companies are leveraging mega event across categories. Airline SpiceJet announced on Friday that it will operate a special flight service from Delhi to Ayodhya on January 21 for devotees participating in Pran Pratishtha ceremony.

“The market is seeing movement in products like T-shirts with images related to the Ram mandir, and this could go up nearer to January 22. I anticipate a greater interest in the north, especially UP,” said Rahul Mehta, chief mentor at the Clothing Manufacturers Association of India. On Friday, the Chamber of Trade and Industry announced that Delhi is preparing to celebrate “Diwali” in over 100 major markets on January 22, with “special programmes in over 100 retail and wholesale markets” with related merchandise doing business in crores.


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