The Financial Express

Dhaka's Eid sales yet to pick up

| Updated: May 01, 2021 16:28:09

Bashundhara City Shopping Complex is buzzing with Eid shoppers on Friday, amid the ongoing coronavirus-induced lockdown — FE photo Bashundhara City Shopping Complex is buzzing with Eid shoppers on Friday, amid the ongoing coronavirus-induced lockdown — FE photo

Shopowners have expressed their frustrations over their poor sales ahead of Eid-ul-Fitr mainly due to the impact of the prevailing Covid-19 pandemic.

According to them, they could not achieve one-third of their sales target because of factors including restrictions on vehicular movement.

On the other hand, a large number of people are also avoiding doing shopping this year to stay safe from the transmission of the deadly coronavirus.

Though a countrywide lockdown enforced by the government has been continuing since April 14, the authorities concerned on April 25gave permission for shopping malls and markets to remain open maintaining proper health guidelines.

A spot visit to different shopping centres found traders dealing with customers with festival collections on display at their outlets.

During a visit to the city's Panthapath area, Bashundhara City Shopping Complex was found drawing a large crowd, who could hardly maintain social distancing though most of them wore face masks.

The crowd hardly translated into a good sales volume for most of the shopping outlets.

Shop owners said though there had been visibly good crowd, most of them were window shoppers.

Easir Ahmed, a partner of a lifestyle shop called Breath at the same mall, told the FE that they have been operating since Monday last with a hope to offset the losses caused by the lockdown before Ramadan following dull season.

"The number of visitors and the volume of sales are much behind our expectation considering the middle of Ramadan," said Mr Ahmed.

Actually consumers have become more conservative as many of them are witnessing financial uncertainty, he said, adding that sales may go up in the coming days ahead of Eid.

It is very difficult to sustain the business due to limited turnover here, he acknowledged and said their digital commerce platform is helping them survive during tough times.

Asked, a customer Sohel Khan said he was looking for kids' attire for his relatives. "I cannot help buying some new clothes for little ones in the family for Eid celebrations whatever the situation is."

Actually, he said, people have to adopt with the situation as it has been more than year with the pandemic.

Rabiul Islam, a salesperson of Punjabi shop Lubnan, said sales are yet to pick up.

"How can people come here to do shopping if they cannot travel to the shops as public transports still remain suspended," he raised a question.

He also said their sales plunged to around one-third of their usual Eid season.

"We have already lost several festival seasons since the lockdown began last year. We don't know how we will survive if the situation continues to disfavour us," he said.


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