a year ago

New Market sees buyer spillover

Malls abuzz with Friday Eid shoppers

Shoppers throng the New Market area, a major shopping hub in the city, on Friday to buy new dresses as Eid-ul Fitr is drawing closer — FE Photo by Shafiqul Alam
Shoppers throng the New Market area, a major shopping hub in the city, on Friday to buy new dresses as Eid-ul Fitr is drawing closer — FE Photo by Shafiqul Alam

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Thousands of shoppers flocked to Dhaka New Market and other shopping malls and hubs on Friday in the run-up to Eid-ul-Fitr.

This time, pressure has intensified in New Market and its adjacent markets and malls following the deadly Bangabazar fire last week.

More than 5,000 shops at Bangabazar caught fire in the early morning of Tuesday.

Consequently, New Market, Gausia, Chadnichawk, Chandrima, Globe, Nurjahan Market, Elephant Road, Aziz Super Market were brimming full of buyers on the weekend holiday, said shoppers and shop owners.

Just after Juma prayers, customers were bustling in and out of shops throughout late night.

Meanwhile, footpath hawkers were doing a roaring trade with customers thick on the ground.

One Nazmun Naher expressed relief at finally making it to Chadnichawk market with a huge crowd from Bata Signal to Gausia point.

She purchased three ready-made dresses and two saris for herself, her mother and in-laws.

"I'll go to Globe Market to buy attire for my two children and then to Longla, the oldest panjabi house of the area," she said.

Morsalin Haque, a cellphone technician, came to the market with his child from Shankharibazar of Old Dhaka.

He said, "We hardly come to New Market. The Bangabazar blaze has forced Old Dhakaities to move to New Market and other shopping hubs."

Cashing in on the fire incident, he alleged, New Market shop owners have raised prices exorbitantly to earn extras.

"A medium-quality baby jeans item is being charged at Tk 1,000-1,200 at Globe Market, which should not be more than Tk 600," Mr Haque told the FE.

Despite large crowds and summer conditions, which made shopping challenging, shop owners reported being satisfied with their sales on the day.

"Finally, we did good business today (Friday). The real Eid-like feeling has come back long after three years," said Redwan Hasan, a cloth dealer at Nurjahan Market.

The trader made a sale of Tk 0.35 million until 6:00 pm, which was his highest since 2019.

Covid-19 caused a massive damage to trade between 2020 and 2022, said Mr Hasan.

About price rise, he said the prices of all types of attire have increased 30-40 per cent at factories amid a rise in operating costs.

"We usually buy exportables which might have been rejected for very minor reasons," cited Mr Hasan.

He said prices of jeans, polo shirt, T-shirt, oven pants from a garment lot have increased by Tk 100-300 a piece by the traders in recent months.

Meanwhile, New Market Shop Owners Association president Aminul Islam Shaheen said traders have been asked to charge rational prices from customers.

The customers could also submit their complaints to the market committee if feel cheated or if find anything against their right, he added.

Mr Shaheen said the market committee with the help of law-enforcement agencies has taken steps to handle additional customers as Bangabazar market remains shut.

Shoe outlets on Elephant Road also did a roaring trade.

Md Najim, a salesperson of 'Bata' outlet there, said their sales swelled threefold on Friday's Ramadan day.

Branch men of Apex, Bay, Afzal, Lotto, Step and others across Elephant Road shared similar experience.

Meanwhile, shopping outlets of different brands and malls in Dhaka city also witnessed an increased number of customers the same day.

Aarong insiders said all of their outlets experienced the highest crowd of this year on Friday.

The FE could hardly manage a huge crowd to enter the Asad Gate outlet of the popular fashion brand Aarong.

"Most of the exclusive new arrivals for both adults and kids have been finished by Friday noon and we have ordered for their alternatives," said a salesperson.

Outlets of other local fashion brands like Infinity, Yellow, Sailor, Artisan and Kay Kraft also witnessed a notable rise in their customers on the day.

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