During the month of Poush, the mercury has gone up bringing down the sales of warm clothes when the business is supposed to reach its peak season.
The sales have already been low because of the economic hardships inflicted by the pandemic. on top of that, the sudden change in weather threatens to take away whatever little income businessmen were expecting to have.
November-January is the peak time for businesses of winter clothes, when shops bring out new lots with new designs to meet the seasonal demand. They look forward to this time for handsome profits.
Akbar Azad, assistant manager of Science Lab branch of Grameen Uniqlo, a well-known Japanese garment company in the country, told The Business Standard that this year the sales dropped by 5-6% compared to last year.
"We have 18 branches, 13 in Dhaka and three outside Dhaka. The situation is the same in all of them," he added.
Another staff of Grameen Uniqlo said 300-350 pieces of winter clothes had been sold daily at each of the outlets during the peak season, but this year the situation was different.
According to the Meteorological Department, the weather in January was supposed to be different.
The mild cold wave in the first week of January indicated a lower temperature throughout the month, but it did not last long. The temperature in the country has been rising every day since the cold wave ended last Tuesday.
Similar observations were made by traders at Chandrima Super Market and Nurjahan Super Market in Dhaka's New Market.
They said due to the sudden onset of a hot weather, sales were not as good as what used to be in the past. Many of their clothes are still in the warehouses. They are sceptical about whether they will be able to sell those this season.
Anwar Hossain, head of Best Collection at Nurjahan Super Market, told TBS he sells winter clothes worth Tk40,000-50,000 per day during winter.
"However, I sold only 10 full sleeve T-shirts throughout the day and could not sell other products like sweaters, hoodie, blazer, etc. I sold a winter hoodie last Friday," he said.
"People are confused if they should buy clothes for winter or summer. I have not been able to sell 3/10 of the clothes I have brought this time and considering the sale I am not sure if I can sell those at all," he said further.
Sara Lifestyle Limited is another popular fashion band for buying winter clothes in Dhaka. Romana Akhter, branch manager of Bashundhara City Shopping Complex branch of the company, told TBS, "Our sale has been very good since the beginning of November but in the last week of January it went down."
He said, but this time I see that in the first week of January the cell has decreased by a large part. Our monthly sale in this branch is over Tk50 lakh but in the last seven days, we have been able to sell a little more than Tk7 lakh. The situation is the same in our five branches.
Sales of hawkers have also declined
Talking to several hawkers selling winter clothes in Farmgate, New Market, Bashundhara Shopping Mall, Gulistan and Baitul Mukarram areas of Dhaka, it was learned that their sales have also declined by a large part. They have been spending their days in fear for the last few days because a portion of the cloth brought for the season is still in the warehouses.
Robin Sheikh, a hawker in Gulistan, told TBS, "I sell winter clothes worth Tk8,000-10,000 daily but for the last few days, there are no buyers of winter clothes. One day the sale was of Tk3,000 and the other day it was of Tk1,100."
Meanwhile, Meteorologist Abdul Mannan of the Meteorological Department told TBS the winter has been weakened mainly due to clouds and water vapour coming from the Arabian Sea. In two or three days, the clouds will clear and the winter winds will become stronger. Then the winter may increase.