Eid is a time when people go on a spending spree, but not this time
Eid this year is nothing like what we ever experienced. Well, I mean last year was bad enough too with coronavirus sweeping through the entire planet but this time, the cases have only gone up by a few folds, thus making lives difficult for everyone. If you are only desolated by all the travel restrictions and not being able to meet your friends, chances are you are one of the lucky ones. The situation could have turned much more sinister like it has for many. There are countless people who have lost their jobs in the past one year, some who were lucky enough to save theirs got pay cuts. Most organizations are also finding it next to impossible to provide Eid bonuses. People simply have much lesser disposable income to spend on things they can do without.
All of these have left many of us in a very tight spot financially. Especially during Eid when you are expected to spend on new clothes and other necessities. According to many shopkeepers Dhaka Tribune has interviewed in Bashundhara city shopping mall, the number of customers is much lower than non-covid times. On the contrary, we can see a sharp rise in people ordering online. There are many online pages that are providing huge discounts, with a fraction of the hassle you would have to go through if you had to go to shopping malls yourself.
Mobile phones and electronic brands and shops experienced the biggest setbacks relatively. In other years the sales skyrocket during festival times, especially during Eid. Speaking to many, they are only having a fraction of those sales this time around. Many mobile phone and accessories stores now are also providing free home delivery which is quite new. The same goes for television and refrigerator stores that have been instructed to stay shut during the lockdown have suffered quite a blow in their sales, many have complained. E-commerce sites (one of the very few businesses that have experienced growth during the pandemic) such as Daraz.com, have come in to save these businesses and help them stay afloat, but there are many shops all over the city, for example, around the stadium market, that sell televisions, other electronics or products as such that suffers the most -- as these online platforms only affiliate with known brands and showrooms.
The shoe industry is another that took a huge blow, with sales plummeting more than ever since last year’s Eid. “Most renowned brands we have all been seeing growing up have suffered to an extent that providing discounts is getting difficult,” says an industry insider. Online startups and clothing businesses are not an exception either, except for a few well-known brands that have been able to establish themselves. All these should not have come as a surprise, as with travel restrictions most responsible citizens will be spending their Eid in the comforts of their own homes and quite rightly so.
Even as the businesses are enduring hardships, many are taking creative measures to promote sales using online platforms, which is very important and effective in controlling the spread of the virus, which many seem to have forgotten exists.