SHAMSUDDIN ILLIUS, Ctg
Media: The Independent
Shopping has gained momentum in Chittagong with the approaching Eid-ul-Fitr.
People from all walks of life thronged the streets for shopping. Affluent people flocked to the malls, especially Mimi Super Market, Afmi Plaza, Sanmar Ocean City, Akteruzzaman Centre, Yunusco City Centre, and Amin Centre, while middle-class people went to New Market, Moti Tower, Reazuddin Bazar, Terri Bazar and Chittagong Shopping Complex.
People belonging to lower income groups, however, were seen buying from pavements and Zahur Hawker Market.
For the first time, the district administration has set up mobile courts to control prices of clothes during Eid. These courts have already fined some shop-owners for charging high prices for clothes.
Faisal, a banker, who went to the Mimi Super Market with his family for shopping, said some shops were offering reasonable price this year compared to the last year. “This may be because of the ongoing mobile courts,” he added.
Different brands of local saris, including various Indian brands, are in great demand in the local markets. One shopkeeper said young people, in particular, were very fond of Indian clothes. “That is why we’ve a great collection of Indian brands. There is also huge demand for local saris,” he added.
Popular Indian clothes are selling at prices ranging from Tk. 3,000 to Tk. 50,000.
The saris, especially Bengaluru silk katan, anarkoli, lehenga, Pakhi dresses, and Kiranmala dresses are being sold at high prices—ranging from Tk. 3,000 to Tk. 50,000—at different markets of the city. As most public and private firm employees have started getting their salaries and festival bonuses, shopping has gained momentum, said a businessman.
Many shoppers at Sanmar Ocean City alleged that shopkeepers there were charging high prices for saris and panjabis.
Abu Naser, a private firm employee, alleged that saris priced at Tk. 5,000-Tk. 5,500 in other markets were being sold at Sanmar Ocean City for Tk. 9,000-Tk. 10,000. They are also selling panjabis at higher prices, he said.
Meanwhile, roadside shops and smaller outlets are attracting more crowd than shopping centres. A large number of makeshift shops have also been set up across the city to lure shoppers ahead of the upcoming Eid. Most middle-income and low-income people were seen crowding these shops. Prices registered a sharp upward trend—particularly of cotton, silk and synthetic products—at these shops.
Rogina Akhter, a garments worker, bought two shirts for her two brothers from a roadside shop near New Market. “I’ve managed to buy shirts for my brothers, even though the prices have been jacked up by the shopkeepers,” she said.