A wholesaler of essential products in the capital's Karwan Bazar, Mohammad Rubel, logged sales worth Tk20-25 lakh daily ahead of Eid-ul-Adha last year but this year's sales slumped to half the amount.
The demand for spices such as onions, garlic and other daily essentials, including rice, oil, salt and sugar normally rises nearly 50% before the religious festival every year, but this year's sales have not picked up.
The scenario is not different outside Dhaka, said Biswajit Saha, executive director of City Group that produces the highest volume of consumer goods in the country.
The purchases of necessary items have been slashed by at least 30% because of the shrinking income and restrictions on social events, he said.
The business of the local clothing industry and heavy industries, such as cement, rod, furniture is even worse.
Though the government relaxed lockdown for a week centring on the festival, businessmen said it had not helped recover their losses.
Customers flocked to fashion houses on Friday and Saturday to buy Eid dresses but boutique owners said the sales were not even 30-40% of what it used to be before the pandemic.
It will be difficult to pay salaries and bonuses to the staff from the sales over the past week, they said.
"We do not set any target for this Eid. But sales were 40% compared to pre-pandemic time," said Shaheen Ahmed, chief executive officer of Anjan's and president of Bangladesh Fashion Designers Association.
Dr Ahsan H Mansur, executive director at Policy Research Institute, said the economy was yet to go back to normal because people with money were reluctant to spend while those who wanted to spend did not have money.
Sales of sacrificial animals
People are not turning up in the cattle markets or in virtual market places to buy sacrificial animals as expected. Covid seems to have dampened the Eid spirit with which people had sacrificed animals and distributed meat among family, friends and the poor.
The customer turnouts in all cattle markets in Dhaka until Tuesday were frustrating for farmers who had reared livestock targeting the celebration.
Mohammad Habid, a resident of Mohammadpur in the capital, is one of them whose income drastically fell amid the pandemic. He was the owner of a travel agency but the pandemic forced him to fold his business last year.
He is not sure if he will buy a cow for this Eid.
"In 2019, I spent nearly Tk1 lakh to sacrifice a cow along with other family members in my village. This year I don't feel like going back to the village after losing my father to Covid-19," Habib said.
According to traders, the demand this time is half that of last year.
Every day, about 17,000 cattle have been sold online over the last few days. The livestock departments said 1.19 crore cattle had been readied for Eid-ul-Adha.
Furniture, home appliance
The showrooms of furniture and home appliances opened after being closed for a long time due to lockdown but have drawn very few customers to their frustration.
Since furniture is not an essential item, people are not interested in buying them, said Selim H Rahman, managing director of the country's largest furniture manufacturer Hatil and president of Bangladesh Furniture Industries Owners Association.
People buy furniture and home appliances only to decorate a new house or when they start a family, which has mostly remained stalled because of the rising infections. He said sales were 80% less relative to previous Eid festivals.
He lamented businesses were using capital to pay rents of the showrooms and workers' salaries.
The annual turnover of the furniture and home appliance sectors is about Tk20,000 crore and at least 10 lakh people depend on them for a living.
Real estate, construction sector
The construction sector has faced a similar grim reality. Though movement restrictions were lifted, business has been down for the real estate sector, rod, cement and other heavy industries.
Since lockdown will be reimposed after the Eid-ul-Azha, people have not started any new construction, which is why the one-week time has not borne any fruit for them, said Md Shahidullah, vice-president of Bangladesh Cement Manufacturers Association and secretary general of Bangladesh Steel Manufacturers Association.
The uncertainty about the future has also discouraged dealers to get products from the manufacturers, he added.
Sales of cars
A very few customers, who had money and needed a private transport immediately, turned to car dealers recently.
The car business has been down since the Covid outbreak last year, said Mohammad Shahidul Islam, secretary general of Bangladesh Reconditioned Vehicle Importers and Dealers Association (Barvida).
"The temporary reopening [of showrooms] for a short period is not helping recover the lost sales during the lockdown," he said, adding that pre-Eid sales of cars this time were about 10% of the usual sales.
Mobile phone, electronic goods
After two weeks of lockdown to curb the third wave of the virus transmission, customers crowded shops of mobile phones and electronic items like refrigerators.
Almost every shop in Bashundhara City Shopping Complex saw a sudden rush of customers to buy mobile phones.
Rofiqul Islam, manager of Esquire Electronics in the capital's Farmgate, sales were quite good in the last few days but still less than in previous years' Eid-ul-Adha.
The annual market of electronics goods, excluding mobile phones, is more than Tk10,000 crore. Businesses have a target to meet before the festival but sales this year have been far from the target.
Customers of air-conditioners and fridges have not been as expected, said Mesbah Uddin, chief marketing officer of Fair Group.
He said the weekly sales of mobile phones doubled over the past week, but that did not help recover the losses over the previous 15 days when shops were closed.