As the Eid-ul-Fitr, the largest religious festival of the Muslims, is drawing nearer, shopping got momentum in the port city.
Shopkeepers hoped that they will be able to bag a good profit through selling their collected products to the shoppers before the Eid days.Visiting different shopping centres from posh ones to footpath, huge number of shoppers, mostly women and children, were seen passing busy time to pick their desired attires for making the festival more enjoyable.
Shopkeepers are also struggling to tackle shoppers from morning to midnight everyday.
Like every year, the affluent section is thronging posh shopping malls while marginal people are rushing to hawker markets and footpaths to pick items after choice within budget.
Shopping malls including Sanmar Ocean City, Finlay Square, Ameen Centre, Mimi Super Market, Afmi Plaza, Central Plaza, Yunusco City Centre, Akhtaruzzaman Centre, Lucky Plaza, Southland Centre, Chittagong Shopping Complex, VIP Tower Shopping Mall, Moti Tower, Guljhar Tower, New Market, Reazuddin Bazar, Terri Bazar - the country's second largest cloth market after Islampur in Dhaka, are attracting most of the customers.
Shoppers, particularly the price conscious ones, are rushing to shops like Mone Rekho, Masum Cloth Stores, Sana Fashion, Parashmoni and Harun Brothers in Terri Bazar, Lucky Plaza in Agrabad, different shops of New Market and Reazuddin Bazar.
Besides, brand shops like Easy, Boro Saheb, Black and white, Aarong, Menz Club, Manhood, Gentle Park, Cats Eye, Trendz, Shoilpik, Deshi Dosh, and different boutique shops also have come up with wide varieties of collections.Following tradition of the Eid, Punjabi tops the list of attires for men irrespective of ages while three-piece and saree remain as best choices for young girls and women respectively in the county.
Talking to shoppers, it was known that demand for cotton Punjabi, one of the main attires of men for celebrating any festival, is so high due to hot weather this year.
Along with the Punjabi, the demand for attires made of cotton for women is also high, the shopkeepers said.
However, some of the shopkeepers feared that some markets may witness low turnover as roads go under water following light to moderate rainfall.
Shopkeepers of Sanmar Ocean City, one of the posh shopping malls in the city, expressed grave concern as the road from GEC to Sholoshahar Gate No-2 gets inundated following light rainfall.
The road went under knee-deep to waist-deep water following a heavy downpour on Friday night causing immense suffering to shoppers, said Ratan Kumar Devashis, salesman of brand shop ‘Cats Eye’ on ground floor of the market
“Shoppers don’t want to visit the shopping mall wading the knee-deep to waist-deep water,” he said.
Salesman Suman of brand shop ‘Boro Saheb’ said they stocked huge varieties of Punjabi considering the scorching heat of summer.
He said that they are selling the Punjabis at different prices ranging from Tk 2,000 to Tk 8,000.
The salesman, however, informed that the price depends on quality.
Alauddin, a salesman of 'Jannat Fabrics’, a shop on ground floor of the VIP Tower in the city’s Kazir Dewri area, said they are selling different kinds of three-piece with embroidery on cotton fabrics ranging from Tk 3,000 to Tk 8,000.
Prices of new collection known as 'Sarara and Gharara' three-piece are ranging from Tk 5,000 to Tk 10,000, he said.
Md Saiful Islam, a salesman of ‘Shoe Bazar’ having huge collection of local and foreign shoes at Chittagong Shopping Complex, said they are getting good response from the shoppers this year compared to the previous occasions.
“Demand of Chinese shoes compared to the local ones is so high,” he said adding that presence of children and adolescents accompanied by their guardians at the market is remarkable.
He said they are selling shoes of different types at prices ranging from Tk 700 to Tk 2,500.
Alongside the collection of attires, women are passing busy time to pick best ornament matching with attires at the markets.
Meanwhile, Chattogram Metropolitan Police (CMP) has taken a good number of steps to ensure security and smooth movement of traffic centring the Ramadan and Eid like previous occasions.
Sufficient number of police, members of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) and Armed Police Battalion (APBn) have been deployed in the city to ensure the security.
Besides, members of intelligence units in plainclothes have been patrolling to check eve teasing in the shopping malls.