There have been loads of reports in the newspapers these days on how the global economic meltdown is affecting shoppers. There have been reports on how people are cutting down on spending, on account of the terrific uncertainty in the markets. In just a matter of 8 months the Bombay Stock Exchange - BSE Sensex (for sensitive index... Man! it seems more sensitive than a Cancerian woman!!!) has tanked almost 13000 points! 20,000 to 7000, and still nose-diving! So most urban Indians whose wealth is locked up in the markets are a little wary about spending. To the extent that on Dhanteras, when people generally buy gold or some other valuable - considered auspicious to do so, many refrained from purchasing anything other than essentials! So sellers want to lure people somehow or another.
Now, as we face a bust everywhere, with real estate prices going for a correction, the stock markets diving deeper and deeper, people do not want to invest any more, at least not to the extent that can hold up the exaggerated property prices. So builders who embraced the whole 'redevelopment of old properties' concept face either unfinished projects, with huge outflows or finished buildings with no takers! The result - they have had to slash prices and also offer freebies!!!! Buy a house, get a car free. Buy one house, get one free. Bizarre how things have shaped up in just a matter of months.
But the most bizarre thing is, that this dire attempt to lure customers has hit other markets as well. Just this evening, while I was at a food mall, there was an announcement - "Buy half a kilo brinjal, and get another half kilo absolutely free."