With the life slowly returning to normal after the earthquakes, most of the valley shops have started to re-open.
From small grocery shops , apparel stores, and mobile shops to automobile showrooms, many shops are getting back to the business. However, some shopping malls have not reopened yet, while some opened partially.
Although many shops opened two weeks after of first quake on April 25, the aftershock on May 12 terrorised all, forcing them to close.
While visiting major hubs of Gaushala, Kamalpokhari, Jamal, Ason, Indrachowk, Newroad, Tripureshwor, Teku, Kalimati and Kalanki, most of the shops were seen opened on Thursday. The number of shoppers is also increasing by the day, the traders said.
“Except for some traders whose stores were damaged and lost their family members, many retailers have started opening shops ,” said Pabitra Man Bajracharya, president of the Retailers Association of Nepal. According to the association, around 90 percent of the valley shops have opened.
Traders based at shopping malls were confident after inspection by engineers. “The engineers have said this mall is 100 percent safe. So we started our business from yesterday,” said Varun Agrawal of Spykar store at City Centre, Kamalpokhari.
Malls like City Centre, Kathmandu Mall, KL Tower, United World Trade Centre and People’s Plaza have opened partially, while Civil Mall and CTC Mall are yet to open as they suffered some damage.
“It is better to remain open rather than living under the terror of earthquake,” said Saroj Bhattarai, proprietor of 3SMen’s Wear at People’s Plaza, Khichapokhari. He, however, said the business was down by 70-80 percent.
“We have remained open since yesterday and sold 35 sets of mobile phones,” said Santosh Bishwokarma, owner of Mobile Technology Centre at Pako, Newroad. He said his daily sale stands at around 150 sets during normal times.
Home appliance traders have also started opening their shops . “I opened the shop to spread positivity among the customers after the April 25 quake. But I had to close after another quake on May 12,” said Ishwor Dangol, proprietor of Ishwor Traders at Mahaboudha. “I used to sell 100-150 fans daily during the same period last year, but I am selling 10-12 fans these days.”
Pradeep Man Pradhan, an Ason-based trader who opened his shop from Wednesday said: “Customers’ flow is very low. But I opened the shop just to refresh the mind.”