Ramadan starts, and so does Eid shopping

Galib Ashraf | Update:

Customers in front of Chandi Chawk market in Dhaka. Photo: Sabrina YesminRamadan has begun and Eid shoppers throng the city’s shopping malls, a month before Eid-ul-Fitr, the biggest Muslim festival.

People of all ages were seen at the city's shopping centres on Thursday evening, girls and women were prominent among the shoppers.

Most of them crowded clothes shops as they needed to go to tailors in time to make their outfits or alter their readymade clothes.

In the Chadni Chawk shopping centre, shopkeepers were seen struggling with a huge number of customers.

"Eid shopping actually started after Shab-e-Barat. The crowd is expected to peak in the first two weeks of Ramadan," said Marufur Rahman Ovi, sales manager at a shop named Faisal Textile, packed with customers, mainly young girls.

This year, three-piece outfits with brand names like Eliza and Muntaha have been attracting customers, he said, referring to his experience this week.

Salesman Muhammad Salauddin of Abru Fabrics said boutique garments have higher demand this year. But, he added, sales are yet to gain momentum as most of the customers are just assessing the market.

Nasrin Akhter, a student of Bangladesh Medical is one of those planning to buy boutique outfit for Eid.

"I've come today just to see what types of fashion items are there in vogue this year. I want to understand the market condition," she told Prothom Alo on Thursday.

Aysha Afroze from Mirpur, who works for a private firm, echoed the same. Strolling around different shops, she said she might not buy anything that day.

"Usually I don't buy Eid clothes so early. But if anything catches my attention, I will buy it," she said.

Aminur Rahman, sales person of Ifti Fabrics, said Indian and Pakistani three pieces were being sold well.  He said the three-piece brand named Vinay, Muntasha and Hansa were selling well this year.

However, New Market, one of the most popular markets in Dhaka city, is yet to see the crowd it normally attracts. But the shops are stockpiling their collections targetting Eid.

The New Market shop owners said they expect momentum in sales after the first week of Ramadan.

The scene is different at Basundhara Shopping City, where brand shops have started experiencing the heat of Eid rush.

Anto, a third-year student of Dhaka University, was choosing a kurta at the Aarong outlet. She said she always loves shopping in brand shops that sell products at fixed prices. 

A government official, Shamim Ehsan, said he has already bought punjabis for his two kids as he wanted to avoid the Eid rush in shopping centres.

Jyoti and Mone Rekho -- shops that exclusively sell sarees -- and Lubnan, and Yellow -- were full of customers the evening before the first Ramadan.

The owners said they were ready with their wide array of collections to meet the demand of the customers.

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