With Eid-ul-Fitr knocking at the door, shopping in malls and markets in the capital has reached its peak amid a huge rush of shoppers.
Even though working people along with their family members had started to return to their village homes, shopping malls and markets were crowded with shoppers since Friday morning. Some people left for their native home in the afternoon after making necessary shopping in the morning while many were preparing to go home Saturday.
Besides clothing stores, shops of shoes, punjabis, cosmetics, and jewellery also saw heavy footfalls on Friday.
Sellers told The Business Standard that people who are coming to the market now are buying products quickly without wandering around.
On Friday, Mouchak and its surrounding markets, the Bashundhara City Shopping Complex, New Market, Chandni Chawk, Gauchhia, and other big markets were overcrowded. Many salespeople were struggling to cope with the crowds of buyers.
Nonetheless, most of the buyers came to the market for Eid shopping for the second time.
TBS spoke to about 10 shoppers, and all of them said they did Eid shopping in the middle of Ramadan and they came to the market again to buy some products at the last moment.
The outlets Aarong, Smartex, Richman, Sara, Deshi Dosh, Yellow, Sailor, Gentle Park, Infinity and other fashion houses at Bashundhara City Shopping Mall were overcrowded with Eid shoppers on Friday afternoon.
Sohail Rana, a salesman at the Smartex showroom, said Punjabis were selling quite well lately. This time sales are as good as that of the pre-pandemic time, he added.
Apex and Bata have large outlets in Bashundhara City Shopping Mall, where there were huge footfalls of shoppers on Friday afternoon.
Apex showroom in-charge Aminul Islam told TBS that their sales have matched their expectations this time.
Md Riyad bought a punjabi and a shirt from Bashundhara City on Friday. He said, "Today I've come here to do shopping for myself. I did some shopping for my family at the beginning of Ramadan."
Shaheen Ahmed, president of Fashion Entrepreneurs Association of Bangladesh and owner of fashion house Anjans, told TBS that sales in the local fashion houses have seen a 10% growth than the usual level.
Sales pick up in New Market, yet lower than usual
There were heavy crowds of Eid shoppers in the New Market area on Friday afternoon, and everyone had shopping bags in their hands. But, there were more sales in the footpath shops than in the showrooms inside the market.
Vendors at New Market, Nurjahan Market and Dhanmondi Hawkers Market claimed that they lost some buyers following their recent clashes with Dhaka College students.
Mohammed Mubarak, a seller at Hawkers Market, said, "Those who used to come here to buy branded and good quality clothes have gone to other markets after the clashes."
Even after that, sales have been good, especially when compared to the last two years, he said, adding that they are yet to get back to the pre-pandemic level of business.
Nurjahan Market is located on the other side of the main gate of Dhaka College. A sales staff of Axis that has four outlets in the market said their sales were not as expected.
"Those who used to come here to buy branded clothes even a few days ago, are now buying clothes from other areas following the clashes with the students of Dhaka College. This year our sales here are only 60% when compared to that during Eid-ul-Fitr in the pre-Covid year. However, our three showrooms in Uttara area have posted good turnovers."
Attar, tupi in high demand
Besides buying new clothes, Muslims also buy prayer caps (tupi) and attar for Eid prayers. Therefore, at the last moment of preparation for the celebration of Eid, there were large crowds of shoppers in the tupi and attar stores in the capital.
The holy Eid-ul-Fitr will be celebrated in the country on the second or third of May this year depending on the sighting of the moon.
If the month of Ramadan lasts 29 days, Eid will be on 2 May, and if it lasts 30 days, Eid will be on 3 May. Thursday (28 April) was the last working day for government employees and they are getting a six-day break, including weekends, May Day leave, and Eid holiday.