Shopping spree reached at its peak at the Chittagong city markets and malls on Sunday, one week ahead of Eid-ul-Fitr. Shopping centres, including Sanmar Ocean City, New Market, Amin Centre, Afmi Plaza, Mimi Super Market, Akhtaruzzaman Centre, Chittagong Shopping Complex, Lucky Plaza and Bangkok-Singapore Market, were jam-packed with buyers Customers, who crowded the shops to collect garments, cosmetics, jewelleries, shoes, handbags and other items of their choices, expressed satisfaction over the attractive designs and qualities of goods.
They, however, accused the shop owners of charging extra prices seizing the opportunity of the annual festival.
Ananya Lovely, a housewife who was shopping at the Sanmar Ocean City, said there was a huge collection of outfits at the shops though prices seemed much higher in comparison with the previous year.
‘I bought three shirts for my family members and a sari for myself at high prices,’ she said, adding that they had no alternative but to pay high as the shop owners remained rigid in bargaining during Eid season.
Anowar Hossain, a banker who was shopping with his family at the New Market, said they were happy with the nice collection of dresses. To him, prices of minimum average quality dresses had gone beyond the capacity of the middle income people.
Mohammed Sagir, president of the New Market Merchants’ Welfare Association, said volume of sales increased several times during the past three to four days, as most of the government and private sector service holders received their salaries and bonuses by this time.
‘We are expecting further boost in sales before the Eid, as many preoccupied people come to the market at the last moment,’ he said, admitting that prices of different products had increased to some extent in comparison with the past years.
Ashad Iftekher, president Sanmar Ocean City Shop Owners’ Association, said prices had increased due to their hike in the international market, as most of the items were imported ones.
‘We are selling quality goods. If you want premium quality you have to pay high,’ he said.
Rise in the business cost was another reason behind the price spiral, he added.
The Jahur Hawkers’ Marker and Reazuddin Bazar, two biggest markets in the city, preferably for the low and middle income people, and makeshift shops on the footpaths at different parts of the city were also jam-packed with the buyers.
-With New Age input