Tuesday, 28 September, 2021
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Lifestyle sector struggles to overcome corona setback

Lifestyle sector struggles to overcome corona setback

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Retailers, especially the sellers of lifestyle products, are struggling to overcome the setback created by the coronavirus pandemic.

Businesses said they have already missed the peak sales season due to restrictions on public movement.

Most of the companies are running discount campaigns since Eid-ul-Fitr and those will continue till Durga puja to boost sales, according to market insiders.

Retail traders got the chance to open stores six days before Eid-ul-Azha and a strict lockdown was imposed for 17 days after the festival.

Market insiders said there is a growing demand for daily groceries, but the outlets are struggling to clear the stock of lifestyle and luxury products.

Bangladesh Shop Owners Association President Helal Uddin said the businesses are struggling to bring the customers to shops as coronavirus has hit the sector badly.

“There is no good sign yet. The shop owners can hardly pay salaries to the staff. They are now offering special discounts to increase sales,” Helal Uddin told the Daily Sun.

The shop owners missed the peak time for sales in Pahela Boishak, Eid ul Fitr and other festivals. “The brands and shop owners have to continue business till Eid next year to overcome the losses they faced in the last one and a half years,” Helal added. Most of the lifestyle brands including apparel and leather product manufacturers have been struggling to clear the stores as the sales dropped sharply. Top shoemakers Bata and Apex are offering up to 60 per cent price cuts to attract customers.

“The pandemic has changed the landscape of the lifestyle market. However, after opening the outlets after shutdown, the customer engagements have become normal. Besides, the brand continued their sales through online platforms during the lockdown period,” Samia Ahmed, head of outlet branding and promotion at Twelve Clothing, told the Daily Sun.

Bangladesh detected the first Covid-19 cases in the first week of March 2020 and a general holiday began from March 27 to curb the spread of the virus. Following the general holidays, most of the shops expect kitchen markets and pharmacies remain shut due to restrictions on public movement.