It is unimaginable that there are few buyers in Eid markets at present. Amid this low turnout of customers, sales are also less. If the situation continues, shop-owners will be unable to pay staff and workers and have to beg to repay bank loans.
Sahabuddin Monty, a cloth trader at Runner Plaza in Bogura, was talking like this to The Business Standard on Wednesday afternoon.
He said this time the situation is worse than the last Eid-ul-Fitr. Buyers are not coming to the market because of fear of the virus infection and economic crisis due to Covid-19 shutdown.
Ariful Islam, an employee of a shop in Bogura's Jaleshwari Tala, said up to 70 percent discounts are offered on the clothes to draw buyers' attention. Yet, they are not coming. If this situation continues, many employees will lose jobs.
Rashedul Islam, general secretary of the New Market Traders' Association, said many traders do business on loans. Debt burden is increasing due to lack of business amid Covid-19.
"If the situation continues, it will give a big jolt to their economic condition. Many traders will be forced to leave the business," Rashedul said.
Not only in Bogura, the picture of Eid markets is almost the same in almost all the districts of the country ahead of Eid-ul-Azha. However, Rajshahi is witnessing a different scenario.
Rajshahi markets abuzz with shoppers
Hundreds of Eid shoppers were seen busy in buying new clothes at RDA Market, Ganakpara and Kapur Potti in Shaheb Bazar in Rajshahi city, ignoring the risk of coronavirus infection.
Very few shoppers were seen wearing masks at the shopping malls and maintaining the required social distancing.
However, sales in the New Market did not go well.
Yaqub Ali, a shopkeeper at RDA Market, said that there is a good sale this Eid. The market is abuzz with a crowd of buyers from morning till evening.
Hasan Mahmud, general secretary of the RDA Market Traders' Association, said there are 3,000 shops in this market. This time the sale of clothes is quite good. However, it will take more time to recover from the loss due to Covid-19 shutdown.
Even discounts not attract buyers
Buyers was not seen in markets at Gangina Par and Char Para of Mymensingh even though shops were offering 30-50 percent discounts on products.
Shankar Saha, vice-president of the Mymensingh Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said they were aware of the hygiene rules. But most buyers are ignoring them, let alone wearing a mask. Conscious buyers are not coming to the market because of these people.
Traders said although fewer buyers from the city are not coming to the markets, many are coming from the upazila towns. But it is not sufficient.
Experiences of Eid markets in Sylhet, Barishal, Rangpur, Khulna, Brahmanbaria, Satkhira and Gazipur were the same.
The traders across the country were waiting for Eid-ul-Azha, thinking that they might be able to overcome some losses they incurred during Eid-ul-Fitr. But the Covid-19 dashed all their hopes.
Habibur Rahman, a cloth trader from Esha Chamber in Khulna city, said clothes are usually sold less this Eid. This time, there is a poor presence of customers.