Retail sales registered a 20-30% decline in sales ahead of Eid-ul-Fitr when traders usually witness brisk business during the month of Ramadan, retailers said yesterday.
The city’s shopping centers are usually packed two weeks before Eid-ul-Fitr, the biggest religious festival for the Muslims, but this year they might have seen far less foot traffic.
However, according to city shopkeepers, the sale was not as usual this year as rising prices of some commodities, particularity non-food items in the last one year, which cut spending capacity of the people.
Though annual food inflation fell slightly, but non-food inflation spiked in the just concluded fiscal year both in urban and rural areas. Non-food inflation rose to 5.99% in FY15 from 5.55% in FY14, the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics data showed.
“Every year, we have a steady inflow of customers … both men and women come to us to shop for clothes on the occasion. This is the only period when we can raise the prices of our goods marginally knowing that customers will shop, not giving a second thought,” Rezaul Kabir Kishore, a retailer at city’s Malibag area, said.
“But this year, our business has gone down by almost 20%, in spite of us giving discounts on our clothing.”
Mamun Hossain, a salesman at a Zhumak shop at the Jamuna Future Park, said people have probably started giving more importance to their basic necessities rather than splurging on Eid shopping, which they used to until this year.
Aslam Parvez, head of salesman at East West, a clothing retailer shop at the new market area, said: “I used to get more than 100 customers daily during these days but now it has dropped to 75-80, which shows the lack of interest.”
“Garments worth Tk2.7m I bought for Eid season. But I have sold only of Tk1.5m so far,” he said. Sajid Khoshru, a tailor, was not busy this occasion as he usually remains during the Eid festivals. “I have received fewer orders to stitch new clothes for Eid. I used to close booking on the 12th of Ramadan due to so many orders, but this year I closed it on the 18th. I got at least 30% lesser bookings,” he said.
“Sales were very slow,” said Shoeib Rahman, a salesman at a shop named Richman at a city shopping mall.
“You see huge rush of buyers but it does not reflect a true picture of the sales as they are more window shoppers,” he said.
Abdul Samad, a store manager at an electronic outlet, said: “Usually two weeks before the Eid, market remains open till late night, but this year we shut our shops by 11pm because of security reasons.”
Source: Dhaka Tribune