Following the end of four consecutive days of shutdown, city dwellers thronged into shopping malls and makeshift shops on Friday for their eid shopping ahead of the holy Eid-ul-Fitr, the biggest festival of the year for Muslims.
All the shopping malls in New Market, Panthapath, Dhanmondi, Farmgate, Gausia, Elephant Road, Mirpur, Uttara, Gulshan and other parts of the city were buzzed with the presence of eid shoppers. Consequently, commuters faced huge traffic gridlocks as most of the streets were packed with vehicles.
Razib Johan Ferdous, advertising and promotion manager of Bata Bangladesh, said: “Customer flow is better than previous days and I am hopeful that this flow will continue in coming days.”
“Presence of buyers is almost triple today compared to the previous day,” said a salesman at Shezan Point in Farmgate, adding that if flow of buyers continued for the rest of the Ramadan without any disruption, they would be able to make up for the losses incurred because of hartals.
Mahbub, a salesman of Anjons, said the number of customers was higher because people were unable to shop for last four days due to the Jamaat enforced hartal, adding that supply of different products was also delayed due to hartals, causing huge financial losses for the sellers.
Meanwhile, a salesman of Menzclub said the brand shops had faced four dull days, as their target customers, the rich, could not come out with their vehicles due to hartals.
Salesmen of different fashion houses and markets claimed that the sale of saris, cosmetics, garments, jewelleries, shoes, sandals, gold ornaments and gift items were on the rise, while a large volume of babys’ items was also sold.
The number of a different category of customers, who only come to visit the markets and analyse the prices, was also high yesterday.
“I just came to visit the market in order to watch the collections for Eid, not to buy today (Friday),” said Afnan, an A level student, at Bashundhara City Shopping Complex.
Musfika Munira, another customer of this category, said: “Collections are better but prices of cosmetics and garments items are very higher than the previous year.”
Many shop owners and workers expressed concerns over incurring losses due to political violence.
“Political unrest scared us about the return of our investment and we are sceptical in reaching our target over eid sales if political violence continues in coming days,” said Ashfaq Ahmad, shop cashier of Deshal, at Bashundhara City Shopping Complex. He also urged the government and opposition parties to avoid violent politics considering the holy month of Ramadan.