Road works hitting our business, say grocers
January 10 2016 08:41 PM
Many of the shopkeepers say they will not be able to pull on for long
Many of the shopkeepers say they will not be able to pull on for long

By Ramesh Mathew/Staff Reporter

Infrastructure development works in many areas have severely hit several neighbourhood groceries, say shopkeepers.

While lamenting the drastic fall in their revenues, many of the affected feel they would be unable to pull on for long.

"Road development and other infrastructure works have been going on in our area since July last year and there is no end in sight even now," said an aggrieved shopkeeper in Najma. The situation in the area, he claims, is so bad that he is not able to generate sufficient revenues to pay even the monthly rent.

Other groceries also have similar grievances. Some of them said they have not only lost their regular customers in large numbers but even suppliers who make deliveries of goods are also forced to skip the area now because of the apparently never-ending works.

The staff at two shops in the same area complained that some of their customers had vanished from the locality without settling their dues. It is estimated that at least 40% of the businesses at most of the neighbourhood groceries are done on "credit" to customers.

"At a time when we are hard-pressed for revenues, customers evading payment of their dues also have an adverse effect on our business," said a grocery owner.

Some of the shops are unable to stock essential items such as even bottled drinking water as delivery vehicles are not reaching the streets. Even the vans delivering LPG cylinders are not entering the area.

Even after the arrival of large hypermarkets and supermarkets, most of the smaller groceries managed to remain in business mainly owing to such attractions as 'credit facility' and home delivery in the neighbourhood.

"However, we are unable to make any home delivery these days as road works have virtually stalled that service too," said a salesman of a small grocery in Najma.

A number of groceries on the western side of the Doha Industrial Area, where road and infrastructural development works are going on, face the same situation.

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