As the Banglalees are set to celebrate Pahela Baisakh next Friday, the country’s fashion houses are expecting a boost in their business with a bigger sales target than last year’s.
They have come up a wide range of new collections to meet taste and demand of the customers keeping Bangali tradition and culture in mind.
During the visits in the past couple of days, large crowds were seen in different shopping malls and fashion houses in Dhaka.
“There are good sales. This year the fashion houses have a target of Tk1,750 crore sales against the last year’s sales of Tk1,500 crore,” Azharul Hoque Azad, President of Fashion Entrepreneurs Association of Bangladesh (FEAB), told the Dhaka Tribune.
“Pahela Baishakh is the second largest business season (after Eid-ul-Fitr) for fashion houses in Bangladesh. This is the festival of Bangalees of all faiths,” said Azhar.
Shoppers are mostly buying punjabis, fatuas, sarees, salwar kamizes, baby clothes, ornaments, cosmetics and footwear.
“In the past years, the sales increased in the second week of April ahead of the Bangla New Year. But this year the shoppers are crowding the malls from the last week of March,” said Shahin Ahmed, CEO of Anjan’s. He is also the vice-president of FEAB.
He said the sales started “too early as people wanted to select their desired clothes before the stocks run out.”
Shahin said the overall condition of the country and the government’s festival bonus on Bangla New Year helped the business get a boost compared to previous years.
“This year Anjan’s has introduced dresses with theme-based designs and prints, like snake-ludo, silk bangles and jamdani and most of the dresses are made of cotton considering the weather,” said Anjan’s CEO.
Anjan’s Punjabi prices range between Tk900 and Tk1,400 and saree between Tk2,000 and Tk4,000. The products of this price ranges are on the high sale, he added.
Nahida Sharmin, Proprietor of ShailpikCraft, said the sales during this period of last year was around Tk50,000 per day, while it stood at Tk80,000 this year.
“Since the flavour of the consumers is changing all the time, we have also brought a lot of new products including sarees, panjubi, salwar kamiz designed by our designers,” she said.
Salim Ahmed, Head of Marketing of Kay Craft said: “We have designed some unique products like 100% cotton, half-silk, embroidery, screen prints and block prints in red colour and the sales of this year are higher than the previous years’.”
He said that, this year, Kay Craft has set a target of 25% growth in sales than last year and “our sales increase boosted confidence to attain the target.”
Abul Kamal, a government officer, who came to Bashundhara City shopping mall with his family for Baishakh shopping, said: “There are many traditional dresses with new designs at the fashion outlets. I have four dresses.”
A number of shoppers alleged the boutique houses are charging higher than the regular prices. The traders attributed the higher prices to the increase of raw materials’ price. The high raw materials price has led to rise in production cost, said a shop owner. “The increase is from Tk50 to Tk200 on the basis of product quality,” he said.
Meanwhile, FEAB organised a five-day fashion fair styled “Grand Fashion Festival 2017” from April 3, which concluded on Friday, marking the celebration of Pahela Baishakh.
FEAB introduced local attires with newer designs and styles at the festival held at Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy in Dhaka.
Tangail Saree Kutir, Kay Craft, ShailpicCraft, Mian-Bibi, AB Fashion Maker, M-Craft, Rong Bangladesh, Anjans, SadaKalo, Kumudini, Banglar Mela, Deshal, Kapor-e-Bangla, Sristy, Nandan Kutir, Nipun Craft, Arannya Craft, Nitto Upohar, Shiboni, Megh and Four Dimension participated in the fashion festival, among other leading fashion houses in the country.
FEAB organised the fair for the second time and the fair helped local fashion industry fight back foreign aggression in local fashion arena, said organisers.
Besides, hundreds of customers are also seen crowding at Gauchia Market, Hawkers’ Market, New Market, Mouchak Market and other road side shops in the city.
Most of the customers in these shops are from middle, lower-middle and low income groups. They, are looking for festival attires.
Rahim Miah, a roadside trader of kids wear at Gauchia Market area said his sales went up by 50% to 60% from the first week of April.