Shoilpik, a fashion house in Chattorgam, manufactured around 100,000 pieces of dresses keeping Pahela Baishakh (first day of Bangla calendar) and Eid-ul-Fitr in view.
But the house did not have any business during the Pahela Baishakh because of the nationwide shutdown. Even, they cannot open the showroom before the beginning of Ramadan.
If the situation continues, the fashion house has to face a financial loss worth Tk15 crore, Shoilpik managing director HM Ilias estimates.
"We have 35 showrooms, including 16 in Chattogram city. We paid around Tk30 lakh in salaries to our 300 employees in March, but we do not have any idea what to do in April. We are worried about the future of this fashion house, as well," he adds.
There are 2,500 fashion and boutique houses working in Chattogram, according to the Chattogram Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Among the houses, around 1,000 have their own factory. Eying Eid, they have manufactured dresses by taking bank and personal loans.
Many of the boutique houses are in struggle for survival as they are unable to pay the employees and meet other expenses due to the countrywide general holidays and shutdown.
Mahbubul Alam, president of Chattogram Chamber of Commerce and Industry, says that around Tk37,000 crore transactions take place in Chattogram city during Eid seasons.
"The traders start stocking dresses around two to three months before Eid. But nobody was ready this time for the Covid-19 situation. People can rarely meet their basic needs. So, there is uncertainty as to if people will have the capacity to purchase new dresses to celebrate Eid," he says.
During Ramadan each year, fashion houses, boutiques, garments and other tailoring agencies bring various types of dresses and attires. Every one of society get their dresses according to their purchase ceiling.
But the Covid-19 has had a negative impact on the economy. The low-income group people might not be able to get new dresses for the celebrations. So, the businessmen are in doubt and all of their preparations have been spoilt. Everyone is passing idle time.
"Boutique houses take various preparations on the occasion of Pahela Baishakh and Eid. But we could not do any business in Baishakh, and we also do not know what will happen this Eid," says Sultana Noorjahan Rosy, managing director of Mia Bibi Fashion House.
This is really tough to pay the salary to the workers and meet the everyday expenses, she adds, calling for some promotional packages for them from the prime minister to deal with the crisis.
Nasrin Sarwar Meghla, managing director or Megh Roddor Fashion House, says they had a showroom at Khulshi Town Centre in the city.
"We invested Tk10,00,000 for Pahela Baishak. But we do not think that we will have the return of our investment in this coronavirus pandemic," she looks anxious.
In Chattogram Pouro Zajur Hawkers' Market, there are around 1,000 shops which have a total transaction worth Tk500 crore during the Eid season, says Fazlul Amin, organising secretary of the market.
"The possibility of opening the market is low, and the businessmen feel insecure about the employees' salary, shop rent, and bank loans," adds Fazlul Amin.
The shopping malls, markets were closed from March 25 to March 31 after the coronavirus infection was identified in the country. Later, Bangladesh Shop Owners' Association announced twice to increase the closure until April 25.
The businessmen of Chattogram New Market, Reazuddin Bazar, Sanmar Ocean City, Central Plaza, Chittagong Shopping Complex, Unesco Center, Khulshi Town Centre, Pahartali CDA Market, among others markets, decorate their shops with stylish dress collections.
They also offer different attractive prizes and coupons to hold attention of the potential buyers. Besides, there were fairs in the open spaces of the city. But now the situation is different because of coronavirus.
"The rush of dress manufacturing begins long before Eid. But many garment factories are not taking delivery of their ordered accessories. Even they are not responding over the phone. It will cause serious damage to the garment accessories traders," says Zahirul Islam, managing partner of Chattogram accessories.
"The clothing traders try to cover up all the losses by selling dresses during Eid. Like other years, they managed the fund from bank and personal loans to collect dresses," says Md Ismail Hossain, an adviser of Teribazar Business Association and owner of Parashmani shopping mall.
Abdul Mannan, general secretary of Teribazar Business Association, says, "There are 2,000 shops in this market. Around 10,000 workers are employed here. Our sales are worth around Tk1,000 crore in every Eid."
"Though we have dresses, we see no hope of selling those. And we cannot recover the loss even after trading for the next two years," he adds.
The Covid-19 situation has also changed the shape of renowned Khalif Patti, which is famous for the past 60 years in Andarkilla area of the city.
Almost all the markets in the city took dresses sewed from this locality.
For the coronavirus and lockdown, around 7,000 tailors of over 500 organisations are unemployed. But the tailors rarely had time to talk before the beginning of Ramadan in previous years.
"At Chattogram Biponi Bitan, there are 520 shops. The traders have collected Eid dresses around three months ago. And we sell Tk1,000 crore in this market. If the businessmen miss the Eid market, they will go bankrupt," fears Syed Khurshid Alam, general secretary of Bipani Bitan (New market) Welfare Committee.