'I expected more business this season than last year, and set a higher target. But the ongoing sales simply frustrated me'
Fashion outlets and clothing businesses in the capital have failed to achieve their Pohela Boishakh sale targets due to three-day public holiday and unfavorable weather, traders have said.
Talking to this correspondent during a visit to some of the capital’s supermarkets including Mouchak Market, Aziz Super Market and Bashundhara City Shopping Complex on Saturday, the traders have expressed their dissatisfactions over the dull seasonal business.
Mohin Uddin Bipul, proprietor of brand shop ‘Britto’ at Aziz Super Market, said that last year he had sold 200 to 300 pieces of punjabis every day right before Pohela Boishakh, but this year the number fell to 60 to 80.
“I expected more business this season than last year, and set a higher target. But the ongoing sales simply frustrated me,” he vented his dissatisfaction.
Another trader at the same market Md Hasib Billah, proprietor of ‘Desh Attire’ said that traders were in total disappointment as regards the volume of Boishakhi sales as majority of the products, designed particularly on the theme of welcoming Bangla new year, were not suitable for sale at other time.
“However, the sale picked up at the last moment and the traders almost overcame the risk of suffering losses,” he added, saying: “But majority traders have failed to hit their expected sale targets.”
Every trader set their targets higher than the last year’s volume ahead of the Bangla new year but they could not meet their targets, observed Hasib Billah.
“This is because of the three-day government holidays and inclement weather,” mentioned Azharul Hoque Azad, president of Fashion Entrepreneurs' Association of Bangladesh (FEAB).
He told the Dhaka Tribune that many people living in the capital left Dhaka for their ancestral homes to enjoy the vacation, causing a lower customer turnout in the city’s markets.
On the other hand, the weather had been unfavorable since last week, affecting the Boishakhi sale badly, Azad added.
President of the FEAB, a leading platform for fashion houses in the country, said though the capital’s traders failed to reach their targets, the overall Boishakhi sales increased riding on sales from outside Dhaka.
According to the FEAB data, last year the country witnessed a sales worth Tk1,500 crore on the occasion of Pohela Boishakh.
“This year the sales may be 10% to 15% up due largely to high volume sales outside the capital,” Azharul Hoque explained. The exact figure would be available in two or three days, he added.
Pohela Boishakh is a festival to welcome Bangla new year being celebrated across the country amid huge festivity. Wearing dresses of red-white color has become a long-drawn tradition in Bangladesh.
Males typically prefer various types of designed cotton punjabis with trousers, while women wear saris or three-pieces and children pick colorful dresses.
In a spot visit to different malls and fashion houses, it was found that people were rushing for buying punjabis at the last moment, a day before Pohela Boishakh. Besides, demands for saris and children’s dresses were also high at almost all fashion outlets.
Cotton punjabis were top in demand, with the prices ranging between Tk400 and Tk1,600 in the markets like Aziz and Mouchak.
Shops at upscale shopping complexes like Basundhara city were selling punjabis ranging from Tk1,000 to Tk10,000 per piece.