The consumer durables industry in Kashmir is clouded by a spell of coolness this summer as cold weather has put off consumers from making purchases in summer appliances.

The market for the summer appliances like refrigerators, air conditioners, fans and coolers has dipped approximately by 90 percent, said Shafat Ahmed, a prominent dealer in refrigerators. Shafat, who owns a chain of retail outlets in the city, says the cool weather is inflicting serious damage to his business.

Shafat has stocks worth lakhs ready to be sold. The Valley usually has a limited season of hot days. If the coolness continues our business may freeze for the year. The deteriorating political situation is adding to the problem. As soon as the market stabilizes, abnormal situation in the form of strikes creeps in, he said.
"The fixed costs in the form of salaries, power, telephone bills and other liabilities are a worrying factor in such a slump," he further adds.

Sartaj, his sales executive said that he had never seen the current type of slow down in sales during his eight year service.

Murrad, the owner of the Video Time, dealing in A C's, Refrigerators and televisions said that the trade has been hit hard by the prevailing cold weather conditions. As against the sales of 25 units of AC's the preceding summer I could only sell two units this year. With just two months left for this summer season, it is unlikely that the lost ground would be made, he said.

Last year was consumed by the indefinite strikes and undeclared curfews while as the current season has been spoiled by the winter like chill, he said.

Manzoor Ahmed, a retailer of fans and coolers also complained of low sales, citing reasons of cold weather. "Usually my business would pick up by the middle of May and in June it would be in full swing. The countdown for June has begun and I have sold just three fans. The cool season has prevented any cooler from being sold," he said.

Parvez Ahmed, dealer of Usha and Crompton Greaves fans said the strike calls had least impact on his business. It is the weather that decides our business. The clouds have grimed the trade, he said.