Dhanmondi’s 44-year-old Rasheda Chowdhury went to Dhaka International Trade Fair (DITF) on Thursday to buy a carpet.
She has been a regular visitor at the fair for the last ten years and every year she buys at least one carpet to redecorate her home.
While talking to Dhaka Tribune she said as foreign sellers got more customers here, they brought exclusive collections to the fair. The price also went down during the fair as well.
Although she is a great fan of Kashmiri carpets, the price was high, which led her to get Irani or Turkish carpets.
The customers said the carpets they buy from other places in Dhaka are less attractive in terms of quality and price. Adding to that, all varieties at a single place is another reason for the attraction.
However, several customers at Turkish, Irani and Kashmiri carpet pavilions said they came to the fair to have a quick look at the carpet products so they could determine how much their budget would need to be when buying them.
The sellers at the pavilions also said most of the customers who had visited the pavilions were their regular customers.
Sheikh Moazzem Hossain, manager of Hadeks Hali (Turkish carpet pavilion), said till January 20 most customers come to have an idea about the carpets, and would buy them during the last ten days of the fair.
Asked how their sales were faring, he said it has been better than previous years.
He said the sight of their regular customers gave them hope that this year they would have good sales.
Meanwhile, Mohammad Abu Samu of Indian Carpet Industries said they are experiencing a poor turnout this year, adding that their prime shipment for the fair had also been late in reaching Bangladesh.
Increasing number of customers at the fair is making him hopeful that they might turn the scenario around and have a successful sales campaign.
Carpet and other products
A visit to the fair revealed these pavilions are mostly offering prayer mats, floor mats, table mats and wall mats.
The Turkish pavilion is offering woollen and synthetic carpets with sizes from two feet by three feet to six feet by ten feet.
Prayer mats cost around Tk500. They also brought a special prayer mat for the senior citizens that would cost slightly higher.
The Kashmiri Carpets is offering carpets made of woollen products, synthetic, silk and cotton-based products, the price of them ranging from Tk6,500 to more than Tk1 lakh. The size of the carpets also varies – from two feet by three feet to nine feet by twelve feet.
Similar carpets are also on sale at the Irani pavilion as well, with the same size as Kashmiri carpets.