Shopping centers, fashion houses, and retail outlets are selling more on the occasion of Durga Puja as the worshipers are getting ready to celebrate the biggest religious festival of the Bengali Hindu community. After 18 months of struggle, it is offering an opportunity for retailers.
Covid-19 caused a long-term economic downturn. “Domestic fashion industry has been in bad shape for the past two years due to the epidemic,” said Soumik Das, Manager of fashion house Rang Bangladesh.
In fact, it is the only festival that has not faced any lockdown. Bangladesh was in a severe lockdown when the epidemic started during almost all the festivals. Most of the sales of domestic fashion brands come during the Eid festival.
SaRa Director Sharifunnesa Reba said, “About 70% of retail sales in Bangladesh are during Eid, the rest during the Pohela Baishakh and Durga Puja”. But due to the epidemic, retailers have lost hope of selling more at these festivals.
Retailers had a difficult time since the country was infected by the rogue virus. However, recently the rate of coronavirus infection has dropped, allowing the economy to thrive and businesses to come up with a new plan around Durga puja.
The epidemic has recently receded after a massive collapse of coronavirus infections, with customers flocking to shopping malls, markets, and street vendors to buy clothes, footwear, and other items ahead of the annual festival. Sales increased seven days before the start of Durga Puja and continued for three more days after it began.
“Generally, many people go to India for shopping before the festival which was not possible at this time due to the epidemic so the sales of sarees this year are much higher than last year,” said Monira Emdad, owner of fashion store Tangail Saree Kutir in Dhaka.
So this time the local fashion brands have intensified their marketing campaigns offline and online.
BTT has interviewed some famous local fashion brands like Aarong, YELLOW, Sailor, and Cats Eye about the recent sales rate of clothing. All the fashion brands have replied that they have received good positive responses from their consumers.
Aarong, Yellow, sailor, and other domestic fashion brands create exclusive clothing collections for the Durga Puja festival.
However, fashion brands have yet to recover from the economic damage of the epidemic. A representative from the ‘Sailor’ said, “Sales are higher than usual which is a positive aspect of the market but on the other hand, the fashion business has not recovered from the financial loss of the epidemic”.
Many stores were closed and the number of retail stores was minimal. The online platform assisted retailers during the epidemic. But Bangladeshi consumers are not comfortable with online shops so sales were also the minimum.
However, the Durga puja is a fresh start for retailers. Businesses are now in full swing. Fashion houses are having a good time at the Aziz Co-operative Super Market, as student attendance has increased since the reopening of the institution after a long hiatus.
Now, retailers are hoping there will be no more lockdowns for further festivals.