Businesses happy over Durga Puja sales

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Business Report :
Shopping centres, fashion houses and other retail outlets in Dhaka found a reason to smile on the occasion of Durga Puja, the biggest annual festival for the Hindu community which begins on Friday, with traders saying sales had exceeded expectations.

Retailers said one of the main reasons behind the increase was due to people being unable to go to Kolkata for shopping due to not getting a visa this season.

During most festive seasons, including ahead of Durga Puja, fashion brands, apparel retailers and consumer electronics retail brands bring in new collections and come up with various offers, including discounts.

Priyanka Das, a resident of the port city of Chittagong, said she had so far spent Tk 50,000 shopping for her family over the past two weeks.

She purchased panjabis, trousers, shirts and other accessories for her father, husband and brother.

Apart from this, sarees and other accessories were purchased for her mother and other relatives.

As a sign of gratitude, she bought a panjabi for her son’s doctor.

“It’s a pleasure for him.

He is not just a doctor; he has become a member of my family,” she added.

Shaikat Sarker, a private sector employee in the capital, said he purchased eight saris for his mother, wife and two sisters, as well as shirts, t-shirts, pants and shoes for himself.

“This puja is our biggest festival.

There is a kind of joy in giving gifts,” he said.

Sales usually pick up around 10 days before the beginning of Durga Puja, one of the biggest religious festivals in Bangladesh. In addition, sales continue for at least three more days after it kicks off.

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Hindus account for about 10 percent of the country’s population.

Khalid Mahmood Khan, a co-founder of Kay Kraft, a retailer of fashion wear, accessories, home textiles, handicrafts and handloom-based products, says the presence of shoppers increased this season compared to the last.

He said they were quite happy so far with the amount of sales, adding that sales were better than last year despite political unrest and high inflation this year.

Khan said discount offers were given to buyers on several products, which generated a good response.

Soumik Das, manager of Rang Bangladesh, a fashion house, echoed those sentiments, saying sales were good compared to last season.

He expects sales to grow by more than 10 percent this year compared to last year.

“This season many people could not shop in Kolkata due to not getting a visa. This is also a reason behind the increase in sales,” said Das.

The two Eids account for about 70 percent of all festival sales in Bangladesh while the rest take place during Pahela Baishakh and Durga Puja, according to businesspeople.

Traders said sarees and salwar kameez are in high demand during the puja season. Buyers are more interested in katan, silk and embroidered sarees while Jamdani sarees are also in high demand.

Raihan Kabir, marketing manager and e-commerce lead at Apex Footwear Limited, said they had seen customers start buying products based on puja since last week. He also stated that sales were better than last year.

Another official of the same company said on condition of anonymity that their sales had increased by 30 percent so far ahead of this year’s puja compared to last year.

Home appliance sales in Bangladesh also naturally increase around any festival.

Products like blenders, grinders, egg-beaters, rice cookers, microwave ovens, washing machines and fridges see increased sales.

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