Over the past few years, one-stop shopping malls have added a new dimension to Teri Bazar, a hundred-year-old wholesale market, one of the biggest in Chattogram, by bringing about major changes to its traditional look.
The old small shops have now mostly turned into big shopping malls. Alongside wholesale trade, Teri Bazar has witnessed a boom in activities due to one-stop shopping malls.
The one-stop shopping malls at Teri Bazar have gained popularity among shoppers. The market has become one of the popular shopping centers in terms of general business as well as wholesale business.
During a visit to the market, this correspondent saw a huge crowd of shoppers in the one-stop shopping malls in the traditional Teri Bazar, well-known as a wholesale market of clothes.
The 'Megamart' at Teri Bazar is now a trusted brand in Chattogram for men's clothing. It experienced a huge crowd on Wednesday night. Salesmen are too busy to talk because of the rush of buyers.
Shopper Rafiz Ahmed at Megamart shopping mall on Wednesday said it is difficult to do Eid shopping for his family and relatives by moving around in different markets while keeping the fast. So he chose a shopping mall where all items can be bought from under one roof.
Ramiz Uddin, a marketing staff at Megamart, said since its inception seven years ago, it has been a big market for all kinds of men's clothing. All men's products, including suits, shirts, trousers, Punjabis, pajamas and ready-made garments are available here. In the last four or five years, the mall has been drawing increasingly big crowds.
It is not only Megamart but more than 50 one-stop shopping malls which have come up in Teri Bazar in the last few years.
Among them are Masum Cloth Store, Badhua Shop, Sana Fashion, Rajpari, Zara Shop, Jabed Cloth Store, Baithak Bazar, Bhachavi, Mone Rekho, Shah Amanat, Parashmoni, Shiromoni, Ranguli, Famous, Alisha, Harun & Brothers, Rajasthan, Mall 24, Mohammadiya, Hello Fashion, Gol Ahmed, New Rajasthan, Mouchak, Megamart, Alamgir, Baghdad Emporium, New Ajmer, etc.
Habiba Binte Ilias, who came to Sana Fashion Mall for Eid shopping, said she does not have to worry about choosing products at one-stop shopping malls. These shopping malls have a lot of products which match buyers' tastes and affordability. As a result, shopping can be done in a short time.
Teri Bazar Traders' Association general secretary Abdul Mannan said once there was a time when shoppers used to go from market to market. Now that situation has changed. Shoppers are likely to buy everything under one roof. These one-stop shopping malls have been set up, keeping in mind the interest of shoppers. As a result, this new kind of shopping mall is doing business much good in Chattogram.
Traders said sales have increased at the One-Stop Shopping Mall over the years. The big sale of wholesale clothes in Eid shopping still characterises Teri Bazar. Even before the start of Ramadan, retailers from Feni to Cox's Bazar bought clothes and cosmetics from this market. Retailing is going on now at the market.
Traders said on average, each mall in this market is selling products worth at least Tk10 lakh to Tk1 crore a day.
Abdul Mannan said sales at the market basically depend on Eid celebrations. The target for Eid sales was earlier set at least Tk1,500 crore. However, the traders failed to meet the target due to the Covid-19 lockdown. Last year, businesses counted losses of Tk1,000 crore due to the closure of business during the entire Ramadan.
Trade has declined in the old markets of Chattogram, including Chattogram Shopping Complex, Amin Center, VIP Tower, Agrabad Singapore Market, Bahaddarhat Huq Market and Sajal Super Market.
According to the business associations of Chattogram, there are 15 elite and 56 general shopping centers in Chattogram. Besides, there are 260 small markets in Teri Bazar, Tamakundi and Reazuddin Bazar.
In the last few years, the one-stop shopping malls in Teri Bazar have grabbed the market in place of these previously popular markets.
Mohammad Akbar, owner of Raisa Cloth Store at Apollo Shopping Center, said the main reason for the decline in sales in the old shopping malls is the one-stop shopping mall in Teri Bazar. Each of the one-stop shopping malls has the equivalent of about 50-100 shops in a market. Shoppers can do all necessary purchases from within a shopping mall.