The festival of Raksha Bandhan, a beloved celebration of the bond between siblings in India, holds significant cultural and emotional value. While the festival has deep-rooted traditions and sentiments, it also has a notable impact on the unorganized retail market, leading to a boom in various ways.
The unorganized retail market, often referred to as the informal sector, includes a range of small businesses, local shops, street vendors, and hawkers. These businesses play a vital role in the Indian economy, catering to the diverse needs of consumers, especially during festivals when demand surges. As a festive occasion, Raksha Bandhan significantly boosts the sales of unorganized retail businesses, driving economic activity and providing livelihoods to countless individuals.
Several factors contribute to the boom in the unorganized retail market during Raksha Bandhan:
Gifts and Accessories Demand: Raksha Bandhan is synonymous with the exchange of gifts between siblings. People flock to local markets and street vendors to purchase a variety of Rakhi gifts for brother and sister, including clothes, jewellery, sweets, and personalized items. The unorganized retail market capitalizes on this surge in demand by offering a wide range of affordable options that cater to various preferences and budgets.
Traditional Attire: Many individuals prefer to wear traditional clothing on Raksha Bandhan, creating a demand for ethnic wear like sarees, kurta-pyjamas, and traditional accessories. Local clothing stores and markets thrive during this time, offering a diverse selection of traditional garments in unique styles, colours, patterns, and prints that cater to different age groups and tastes.
Rakhi and Roli-Chawal: The heart of the festival is the rakhi itself. Sisters often prefer unique and beautifully crafted rakhis for their brothers. Local artisans and small businesses create intricate rakhis, which are easily accessible through unorganized retail channels. From the shops in the market to the roadside stalls and festive events stalls, rakhis sell everywhere, and it is all unorganized. And this whole process includes rakhi makers, wholesalers, and retailers. Additionally, the sale of essential items like roli (vermilion) and chawal (rice grains), used in the ritual, contributes to the increased footfall in local markets.
Sweets and Treats: Sweets are an integral part of Raksha Bandhan celebrations. Local sweet shops witness a surge in demand for traditional Indian sweets like ladoos, barfis, and rasgullas. Festivals like Raksha Bandhan are considered the best time to make money for the sweet shops because sweets are often purchased in bulk, further driving the sales of unorganized sweet vendors. Some sweet makers sell sweets to the retail sweet shops, which means the sweets also bring in a monetary boost for many.
Last-Minute Shopping: Many people engage in last-minute shopping for Raksha Bandhan due to busy schedules or procrastination. Local stores and street vendors cater to these customers, offering convenience and flexibility in terms of choice and accessibility. And because of the demand and the need, local vendors also push up the prices above the normal rates for a final boost to their sales.
Personalized and Handmade Gifts: The trend of personalized and handmade gifts has gained traction in recent years. Local artisans and crafters in the unorganized sector benefit from this trend, as they can provide unique, thoughtful, and customized items that resonate with the sentiment of Raksha Bandhan. People have also started getting in touch with crafters who make giftable items at home and promote them on their social media accounts.
Family Gatherings & Parties: Raksha Bandhan often involves family gatherings, leading to increased demand for groceries, snacks, and beverages. Hotels, local party spots, and caterers also get big orders during Raksha Bandhan for parties, leading to increased demand forr groceries and beverages. During this time, local grocery stores, vegetable vendors, and small convenience stores experience higher sales.
Online Purchases: Local vendors have also started putting their stock up on e-commerce websites to get a boost to their revenues. And the e-commerce factor also brings one more benefit to the scene. People buy new and unique things that are not easily sold at local stores; people have started buying quirky and Cute kids rakhi online a lot now.
Emphasis on Tradition: Many consumers prioritize supporting local businesses and artisans during festivals, aligning with the cultural emphasis on tradition and community. The government has also been promoting local artisans through many campaigns, which plays a pivotal role. This sentiment further bolsters the unorganized retail market.