Shopping spree has touched its peak in all city markets on weekend ahead of the festive occasion of Eidul Fitr. A large number of shoppers thronged the markets and commercial areas to complete their Eid shopping after Iftar as the temperature of the provincial metropolis is blazing hot these days.
Marking the end of the holy month, Eid frenzy is being witnessed everywhere in the city. Makeshift kiosks and stalls having colourful lights and decoration have been set up everywhere in markets and commercial areas and attracting customers of all ages, especially women and children, the most excited shoppers.
Speaking to The Express Tribune, a kiosk vendor said: “Though today, shoppers want to buy everything being put on sale in city markets, clothes and shoes are the main focus of attention for all customers. Cosmetics, jewellery, mehndi and other fashion accessories are also important for women and girls.”
A shopkeeper, Ali Buksh, expressed his happiness over an influx of shoppers. He said the sales have picked up during the last leg of the holy month and it will break all year’s record on Chand Raat when last-minute shoppers would also visit markets for shopping. Ali said shoppers had been flocking to city markets and shopping malls not only from provincial capital but also from adjoining cities.
A shopper, Naseem, said a huge variety of items have been put on display in city markets. It is really difficult for shoppers to make selections due to unusual rush and huge variety.
“I am trying to buy some nice earrings and matching bangles for the first day of Eidul Fitr. I have visited many stalls but cannot make a buying decision yet. All products are attractive and unique in their own category,” she maintained.
Pointing towards a series of makeshift stalls offering bangles, imitation jewellery and other fashion accessories, a shopper Muhammad Hafeez complained that most shopkeepers had jacked up prices to fleece citizens. He pointed out that most vendors had displayed ‘SALE’ banners in front of their shops but in reality, prices were far above normal days.
Another citizen, standing nearby, added that during Ramazan greengrocers fleeced citizens and now its shoes and garments sellers, turn to loot citizen as there is no system of price control or regulation in ‘Naya Pakistan’ too, he lamented.
Besides markets and shopping malls, bakeries, sweet shops and eateries are also flooded with shoppers, especially during evenings and at night. Huge stocks of beverages, confectionary items and other Eid related specialities have already reached stores. However, the sale of sweets and bakery products will get a boost with sighting of the new moon, said a manager of bakery store.
The rapid influx of inexpensive Chinese mobile phones and the emergence of 3G and 4G technologies in Pakistan have also made available new channel of trading to the business community. The rapidly growing e-commerce market in Pakistan is attracting more and more customers every day.
A large number of shoppers, who wanted to avoid the crowd of the festive season, preferred to shop in the comfort of their homes, especially during Ramazan. A regular online shopper, Javed Mughal, told The Express Tribune that he tried to shop online to get rid of the hassle of driving in congestion and spending hours in the scorching summer heat. He highlighted that online shopping portals offer its customers options to compare products, their pricing and reviews by previous buyers of the products. It is one of the most unique features of online shopping which is otherwise impossible in traditional trade.
Another, online shopper Muhammad Ashraf said though initially, shoppers lack confidence in online shopping but during recent year e-commerce players with cash on delivery service have gained the confidence of shoppers, which resulted in that more and more people are being attracted towards e-commerce platforms.
A female shopper, Maria Khan, said though still there are few black sheep in an online marketplace their share is negligible. “To avoid any scam, I generally advise new e-shopper to stick with cash on delivery payment term and do not send money in advance by any means. I have bought dozens of products, from garments to cosmetics and electronic gadgets, but never have had to face any sort of difficulty,” she maintained.