Little India businesses need to be creative to attract shoppers

The value of the Indian rupee has dropped substantially against the greenback and the Singapore dollar (Little India retailers feeling the pinch in run-up to Deepavali; Oct 18).

Naturally, many Indians, especially those who still have strong ties with India, want to capitalise on this favourable currency rate.

While some Indians are sending more money back to their homeland, others like my wife and I are taking the opportunity to travel to Chennai, India, for a holiday and to do our Deepavali shopping at the same time.

There is little wonder why retailers in Little India have suffered a drop in business.

These retailers need to be creative and think out of the box if they want to attract customers like us to shop at their stores.

With the falling rupee, shoppers have a bit more of a choice and Singapore retailers need to adjust.

They can help themselves by creating store events, offering discounts and being creative in their sales approach in order to remain competitive and engaged with shoppers.

They also have to transform their businesses by going online and using social media tools, and tap the many government grants and schemes available to them to improve.

I would wholeheartedly support our local retailers if their prices were competitive. But they should not expect shoppers like me to do them favours by supporting them to keep their stores alive.

V. Balu

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 23, 2018, with the headline 'Little India businesses need to be creative to attract shoppers'. Print Edition | Subscribe