Ahmedabad

Fernandes Bridge book sellers try to script new chapter

After enterprise drops to 20 per cent, thanks to the pandemic, few book sellers on the 125-year-old Fernandes Bridge book bazaar go browsing, however gross sales haven’t picked up whereas losses proceed to mount up

Welcomed by the odor of ageing books stacked up in piles, the Fernandes Bridge chopda bazaar, on the bustling Gandhi Road, is the one-stop store for all book lovers. In existence since 1894, the bazaar, with shut to 400 shops, is at all times teeming with college students of all ages who come to purchase research materials, books, lunch bins, stationery, et al. The better part, you may come again subsequent yr and promote the identical books right here and get 50 per cent money again.

But with faculties and schools having gone on-line, the place all core topics are being taught, these book sellers are paying the worth. “Our market here is focused on CBSE and ICSE boards, so we stock up the books in February every year, but due the March lockdown, we lost out on maximum customers and no books were sold. If books were also listed as essentials, we would not have suffered like this,” says Dhaval Shah, proprietor of a 120-year-old store, who determined to try his luck on-line after the lockdown was imposed.

Another bookstall proprietor Gordhan Saresa, mentioned, “Even after Unlock 5 was introduced, we haven’t obtained our common clients again, so the enterprise has gone down to 20 per cent. This is all as a result of schooling has gone on-line this yr.

Even after Unlock 5 was introduced, our common clients aren’t again. Business has gone down to 20 per cent, since schooling has gone on-line –

Gordhan Saresa, bookstall proprietor

“We cater to students of all age groups — class 4 to post-graduation. We also have books for competitive exams like GPSC, UPSC, metro trains, railways and banks,” the 45-year-old, who’s working his enterprise for the previous 20 years, informed Mirror.

However, of the 100 book shops, a number of have determined to meet up with the occasions. Book vendor Hardik Patel, 39, determined to present residence supply service of books, and this helped generate further 10 per cent development of their enterprise.

“It is better than waiting for customers to come to our stalls, right?” he mentioned.

Shah echoed the sentiment, “The difference in sales is mammoth. In the three months of business going online, we have only sold some 100 books – in comparison to the thousands we sold before the pandemic struck – and we’ve earned only Rs 10-15k. But I believe something is better than nothing.”

I made a decision to present residence supply service of books and it helped generate 10 laptop development. It is best than ready for patrons to come to us

Hardik Patel, book vendor

Stepping out of the standard type of enterprise, Jayvirsinh Rathore, who owns two retailers within the bazaar and whose household is working beneath the Fernandes bridge for the previous 35 years, has joined the net bandwagon to take his enterprise forward. Rathore has registered on one of many well-liked on-line bookstores to promote books from his retailer. Besides that, he’s additionally utilizing social media platforms like WhatsApp to enhance his enterprise.

Not simply monetary loss, these sellers are additionally lacking the human connection, the conversations with clients. Rathore says, “Yes, talking to customers, suggesting them books as per requirement and convincing them to buy a few more books/ stationery is definitely something we miss. Besides, our regulars bring books to sell, too, which also added to our total earnings.”

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