Despite major discounts being offered at most of the stalls, furniture companies have been unable to attract customers
Furniture retailers at this year’s Dhaka International Trade Fair (DITF) have reported lower than usual footfall and sluggish sales.
Legacy Furniture showroom in-charge SK Sadiqul Islam attributed the slump in sales to “the overall low customer turnout at the fair”.
The Dhaka Tribune found most of the furniture stores almost completely empty except for the sales executives and a few wandering customers. One customer ambling around a furniture store said she was not really looking to buy any furniture, and was “just window shopping”.
Despite major discounts being offered at most of the stalls, furniture companies have been unable to attract customers. Discounts range from 5% at some stalls to as high as 25% at others.
Although a wide range of products were available at the stalls, most could be bought elsewhere in Dhaka.
“Few of the unique designs are first unveiled at the DITF showrooms, and later at other showrooms,” said Md Firoz Rahman, senior assistant manager of retail sales at Navana Furniture.
The price and discounts were eligible throughout all the stores of the respective companies located in different parts of the country.
The stores were offering free delivery of the purchased furniture inside Dhaka city, while deliveries outside Dhaka required extra charges.
Laila Israt Jahan, retail channel Deputy Manager of HATIL, told the Dhaka Tribune that they had received many customers from areas outside of the capital, such as Munshiganj, Dinajpur, and Cox’s Bazar. “Sales were very low at the beginning of the fair, but it is steadily increasing,” she said.
“At the moment, the stalls at the trade fair are certainly getting more customers than our showrooms elsewhere. We hope customer turnout will increase in the next few days.”