Pune: Even though prices of decorative items used during Christmas have gone up considerably due to GST, it has failed to dampen the spirit of shoppers in the city. From little bells and dangles, which generally cost Rs 30 a piece, to expensive imported pine trees made of fibre optic costing from Rs 5,000 to 19,000, there are takers for all items.
Moreover, this Christmas, decorative products like acrylic Santa, reindeer, sleigh and wooden cribs are in big demand. Same is the case with LED lights. Acrylic Santas are transparent and have warm white, blue lights fitted in them. These gift items are imported from Taiwan and European countries like Germany and Italy.
Wooden collapsible cribs handmade in India or Europe are another entrant in the market. Shopkeepers say that those having scarcity of space are opting for them as they are easily fold-able. A shopkeeper on MG Road told Sakal Times, "People are preferring to buy imported European products rather than ones made in India, even when their price is on the higher side."
Decorative articles such as hanukkiah (menorah with nine branches), bells, candles, candy canes, garlands, stockings, angel dolls and sleighs are also flooding markets. Speaking to Sakal Times, another shop owner on MG Road said, "As people from all communities are coming together to celebrate Christmas, there is a great demand for decorative products. Due to this, there is a great variety of Christmas toys made of ceramic, metal and other materials."
Another shopkeeper added, "Christmas starts with trees, we have a variety of trees like German Pine, French Pine, and some made of fibre optic."
He further added, "As these products are imported from different countries, GST is affecting retailers. A product costing Rs 20 is being sold at Rs 30. Wholesalers on the other hand are not affected by this hike."
Kimcha Hoakip, a college student, said that they prefer imported products because of their quality, as they can be used for at least two-three years. Arpana Sable, a school teacher, said that even if the cost of these products are slightly high, they are worth buying because of their appearance. She added that they look more attractive and refreshing. Sharmila Martin said, "I would prefer Indian products as they are less expensive. Quality is a bit low but for one time use, these products are fine."
DECORATION/ Average Prices
Wooden & Ceramic Cribs/ Rs 1,750 - Rs 35,000
German & French Pines/ Rs 3,650 - Rs 19,250
Fibre Optic Pines/ Rs 1,950 - Rs 11,250
Wreaths/ Rs 320 - Rs 2,350
Bells(6 pcs)/ Rs 250
Acrylic Santas/ Rs 1,950- Rs 8,950
Acrylic Reindeer/ Rs 4,450- Rs 9,850
Garlands/ Rs 650
Stockings/ Rs 280
Santa caps/ Rs 40