Playing indoors is the new normal. Playing games outdoors is strictly prohibited thanks to the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting 18-hour lockdown.
With educational institutions closed and exams postponed, playing indoor games has proven to be a favorite pastime for many. And this has boosted sales of equipment for indoor games. With the increasing demand, sports retailers are running out of stocks.
Carrom, chess, ludo, housie and trump cards are in great demand. Although shuttlecocks and rackets have increased sales, they are not on the line of indoor play equipment, say several shopkeepers. And there are no buyers for cricket kits at all, they add.
Traders who normally sell four or five chess boards a day are now selling around 15. Likewise, home sales fluctuate between 10 and 20 pieces a day. The sale of clubs is no less than 30 daily, it is said.
Carrom board sales have nearly doubled to around 10-15 pieces a day, said Gautham Reddy and Murali Krishna of Lakshmi Ganapathi Sports Planet. “The sale of indoor games equipment has increased. But business is as usual as there is no institutional sale (schools and colleges). The prices were increased by 5%. People buy housie, ludo, snakes and ladders and carrom boards, ”says D. Srinivas Rao, a shop owner at Gandhi Nagar.
“The stocks are almost exhausted and we cannot meet the demand. Shipments from Kolkata, Meerut and Jalandhar have either decreased or stopped due to a lockdown, ”says Thimmaya of General Sports, one of the oldest stores in the Gandhi Nagar area. The price of a chess board ranges from ₹ 100 to a 2,000 while a Carrom board ranges from 1,000 to 10,000.
“Indoor games have now become a popular form of entertainment. The price doesn’t matter, ”says Vijayanand, who bought Carrom and chessboards for his children.