Market insiders said the sale of these products have dropped by 15-20% since the outbreak of the coronavirus
Sale of suitcases and bags has plunged drastically amid a sharp drop in travel and over a year-long closure of educational institutions due to Covid-19.
Market insiders said the sale of these products have dropped by 15-20% since the outbreak of the coronavirus.
“If you wait for a few hours here, you will understand the real scenario of our businesses since last year. Because of the pandemic, luggage sales plunged significantly as students and travellers are not going abroad,” said Liton Chowdhury, a salesperson of Babul Enterprise — a baggage shop in the capital’s New Market.
Having sold only three travel bags and two handbags that day, most of them ended up sitting idly the entire day, he mentioned.
“Nearly 80% of our business has gone. If schools re-open soon and the travel spree resumes, we may go back to business. Though travel destinations open sometimes, most of the people are hesitant to go outside amid the pandemic,” he said.
Eshanur Rahman, another salesman of Travel Point at Baitul Mukarram, said wholesale numbers plunged drastically as the retailers no longer place orders like before.
“I am in debt as I have to pay my shop’s rent and other utility bills regularly. About 80-90% of my business has vanished. September, January and May used to be the peak season for bag and luggage sales, but now only a few are coming to buy these products,” he added.
Sultan Ahmed, who sells luggage and bags of various brands at Baitul Mukarram Market, said that they sell Polo trolley bags in the range of Tk1,800-Tk2,000, depending on the quality.
“And we charge Tk1,800-Tk10,000 for brands like President, Dell and Fantasia, which have higher demand among customers,” he added.
“As a consequence of the lockdowns, our business has dried up to 90%. It has been tough to survive by paying all the utility bills,” he added.
According to a few shopkeepers, they are optimistic about increasing the number of sales as the lockdowns have been lifted.
“However, we do not have the opportunity to improve until the educational institutions reopen and all the offices are fully operational. The situation will be more complicated if the government imposes further lockdowns,” he said.
Mohammad Opu, manager of New Market-based baggage shop Luggage Park, told Dhaka Tribune that their business has suffered severe losses due to the pandemic.
“Before the outbreak of the pandemic, our New Market outlet used to sell products worth Tk40,000-50,000 per day, now it has come down to Tk15,000-20,000 on a good day,” he added.
Moreover, every year during Hajj, they have a significant portion of sales.
But for the last two years, that too has been missing, he added.
A spokesperson from President Collection, another New Market-based baggage shop, said: “As an unorganized sector, we have suffered but we have not received any cooperation. On the contrary, we have to pay bank loan instalments, utility bills regularly.”