The volume of Eid sales at different major shopping malls in the capital and across the country saw a significant fall as a large number of people are avoiding shopping this year to stay safe from the transmission of the deadly coronavirus.
Dhaka city’s shopping malls looked unusually lean unlike the crowd before Eid over the years. Customers who buy something for their near and dear ones to celebrate Eid hardly gathered there.
Shopowners expressed frustration as, according to them, they may not see even 50 per cent sales.
After more than a year of pandemic, they hoped that they would be able to offset the losses a bit this time around but their business suffered once again.
During a spot visit at different shopping centres in the capital on Monday, this correspondent found that a little number of traders dealing with one or two customers with festival collections on display at their outlets.
Ainal, sales manager of Richman Lubnan, a men’s clothing store at Metro Shopping Mall at Dhanmondi, told The Financial Express that he only received 5 to 6 customers until that noon.
His outlet sells all types of men's wear like Panjabi, shirts, trousers, T-shirts, jackets and so on.
Some 40 to 50 customers visited the outlet during the previous Eid time, he said, adding that he sold 25 per cent against his target. These two paragraphs are the only correct presentation of reference.
Nahid, a salesman at Men's Style at Tokyo Square Shopping Mall in the city's Mohammadpur area, said his outlet also sells all types of men's wear like Panjabi, shirts, trousers, T-shirts, jackets.
He has been able to sell only 30 per cent against his target sale, he added.
CEO of supershop Meena Bazar Shaheen Khan claimed that of the total retail sale volume, on average, nearly 10 to 15 per cent of sales were completed during Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Azha.
This is very discouraging that those sales are not enough compared to the previous years, Mr Shaheen added.
Bangladesh Supermarket Owners' Association (BSOA) general secretary Zakir Hossain told The Financial Express that Eid sales at the shopping malls across the country witnessed a 50 per cent fall compared to the previous years.
Customers’ presence at the major malls in the capital and across the country, which were full of hustle and bustle, is now near-empty which is very unexpected and disappointing too, he said.
People are perhaps afraid of being infected with the coronavirus if they come to buy something for their near and dear one ahead of Eid, he pointed out.
A good number of customers may now have financial uncertainty that led to poorer sales ahead of Eid, he added.