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Shoppers experiencing a balanced purchase amid Pohela Boishakh and Eid

The country’s fashion houses are waiting for a sales enrichment on the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr and Pohela Boishakh after facing a dull business for the last two years due to the epidemic.

Eid-ul-Fitr and Pohela Boishakh are two of the most lucrative times of the year for fashion and boutique stores in Bangladesh. However, this year the two festivals will be only two weeks apart. Many owners of the fashion industry have said they are optimistic about a bright sale at the upcoming two back-to-back events because there are currently no COVID-induced restrictions. The garment sector faced a slump in sales in 2020 and 2021 as Eid and Bengali New Year celebrations were postponed due to the coronavirus epidemic.

Figure 1: Local fashion houses witness sales enrichment on the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr and Pohela Boishakh. Courtesy: AMIRÁ

According to the Bangladesh Local Garments Manufacturers Association, the size of the local fashion market exceeds TK 30,000 crore, accounting for about 75 percent of sales on Pohela Boishakh and Eid. Bangladesh Local Garments Manufacturers Association also known as Bangladesh Avhantarin Poshak Prostutkarak Malik Samity which represents about 20,000 small garment factories. Garment manufacturers, which supply products to local fashion showrooms, have focused on increasing their production, taking into account the overall situation. They are hoping that the market is likely to change this year and the demand for Punjabi is increasing as the country celebrates two big festivals.

Pohela-Boishakh-and Eid-sales-2022
Figure 2: Cultural Pohela Boishakh Collection from fashion brands. Courtesy: Collected

Even though the traders are ready for the big festival, the table has turned around due to a lack of consumer demand. According to the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh, prices of edible oil have risen by 70 percent, rice by 23 percent, atta by 24 percent and vegetables by about 10 to 30 percent in this EID. Consumers are already struggling to meet household expenses and extra expenditures during Ramadan. Considering the expenses related to Eid, the consumer has decided not to buy anything for the pohela Boishakh. Sales this year are already showing a downward trend and most customers preferring Eid-ul-Fitr over the first Boishakh, according to traders. Also, the short span between the two festivals has forced traders to lower their sales targets and customers to re-evaluate their purchasing power and demand.

Alauddin Malik, president of Bangladesh Avhantarin Poshak Prostutkarak Malik Samity said, “Sales are likely to be lower than usual this year as the Bengali New Year falls in Ramadan and the sales target for both festivals this year stands at TK 200 billion”.

People always buy new clothes for Eid but shopping around Bengali New Year has been a recent trend for the last two decades. Fashion houses have tried to capitalize on this by feeding the lower-middle class population during the Pohela Boishakh.

There is always a demand for native cotton clothes on the first day of Boishakh. The usual colors for the festival are red and white, some other bright shades. For Eid, buyers prefer cotton as well as half silk, georgette, tissue, muslin, satin, and linen. There is no specific color associated with the festival.

Figure 3: Most of the shopkeepers said that the buyers have been paying more attention to Eid clothes than the Pohela Boishakh. Courtesy: Clothes Crafts

Most of the shopkeepers said that the buyers have been paying more attention to Eid clothes than the Pohela Boishakh. However, some customers have bought clothes keeping in mind the two festivals.

Shoumik Das owner of Rong Bangladesh said they have reduced production for the Pohela Boishakh due to overlap with Ramadan. Some people are reluctant to buy a dress for just one day to celebrate Pahela Boishakh and some prefer to buy clothes that can be worn during both festivals. That’s why traders have prepared our complete product line for both festivals. As the epidemic subsides, the Pohela Boishakh and Eid-ul-Fitr are expected to be celebrated with normal festivities and enthusiasm.

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