Dampened Eid Shopping: Rising costs hit Keraniganj’s wholesale clothes market



In the bustling Keraniganj wholesale clothes market near Dhaka, traders are grappling with dwindling profits and a significant drop in customer footfall as Eid-ul-Fitr approaches. This year, the festive fervor is markedly subdued, a sharp contrast to the usually vibrant pre-Eid shopping spree.
Historically, the market thrived with shoppers from various areas, buzzing with activity before Shab-e-Barat. However, this season, the scene has shifted, primarily due to escalating commodity prices affecting the Eid market. Retail buyers are sparse, and those who venture out purchase less than they traditionally would.
A visit to the market revealed a noticeable hike in clothing prices across the board, ranging from Tk 20 to Tk 300-400 based on the quality. From shirts and pants experiencing a Tk 50-100 increase to Chinese T-shirts hitting the higher end of Tk 300-400, the inflation has been broad and unforgiving.
Mamun Dewan, proprietor of ‘Othoba Burqa House,’ highlighted the downturn in Ramadan sales compared to previous years, with the cost of burqas rising by Tk 20-30 each. “We can only hope for a profit margin of Tk 50 to 100 per piece, depending on sales,” Dewan lamented.
Echoing this sentiment, Mahbub Alam, owner of ‘Kajal Panjabi,’ noted a significant slump in sales, stating, “The sale of panjabis, which usually begins before Shab-e-Barat, has not picked up since the start of Ramadan this year.”
Staff and owners alike voiced their concerns over the unprecedented low sales. Masud Rana of ‘Shokh Rong Collection’ remarked, “I’ve never seen such a slump in 15 years. Despite the slight increase in clothing prices compared to last year, we’ve had no customers.”
The ripple effect of rising living costs has left consumers prioritizing essentials over new clothes, as articulated by Sabbir Hossain, Manager of Park Land shop: “With fixed incomes being stretched to cover food and essentials, interest in buying new clothes has understandably waned.”
Azizur Rahman, a wholesale customer from Naogaon, and Mohammad Ali from Gazipur shared their dismay at the surging prices, noting significant hikes in the cost of shirts, pants, and panjabis compared to last year.
This collective distress underscores the challenges faced by both traders and customers in the Keraniganj wholesale clothes market as they navigate the economic strains of Eid-ul-Fitr shopping amidst rising costs.