Amid the political unrest and high inflation, a lot of hustle-bustle is being witnessed in the city markets as people throng there to complete their Eid shopping.
Most of the markets started having a rush of customers soon after Iftar which will remain till Sahar. One can observe the rush at clothing, shoes, gifts, toys, jewellery and other shops.
Rush in markets repels the impression of price hike and inflation as not a single market and shopping mall can be said to have fewer customers. Earlier, it was a common perception that the current high inflation will affect people’s buying power but markets express another side of the picture looking at people’s rush.
“There is a slight hike in price as compared to last year but even then, it’s affordable,” Abid Ali, a customer told Minute Mirror in Emporium Mall, who came to shop with his family. He said that the basic purpose is to complete the shopping of kids and in this shopping mall, one can buy a lot of things under one roof.
“The impression is not good that such malls are for elite class or wealthy people but you can buy things at more economic and affordable rates here,” he added.
An owner of a famous clothing brand’s franchise informed this scribe that a large number of customers were coming to shop there. “Like this brand, most brands haven’t increased their rates following the inflation situation in the country,” he said and added that despite the political unrest and the impression of price hike, this year more customers came for shopping.
The city’s major shopping malls like Packages, The Mall of Lahore, Mall One and Gulberg Galeria have the almost same situation where famous brands have offered discounts of up to 70 percent on selected items. However, many brands are offering this discount on new arrivals as well.
Along with the shopping malls, city markets like Liberty, Anarkali, Ichra Bazaar, Link Road and others are also welcoming customers, mostly women and children.
The eye-catching jewellery, bangles, readymade garments and cosmetics displayed at shops and stalls are an attraction for women and children in Anarkali Bazar. “Eid shopping is certainly incomplete without bangles,” said Fauzia, 40, adding that this Bazar has a lot variety of things and that’s why they prefer to shop there.
Anarkali Bazar is known as a market for the people of low income and this is one of the reasons behind the huge rush of people over there. Despite the great hustle and bustle, shopkeepers are not happy due to low sales. A shopkeeper said that although there were a lot of customers, they didn’t have buying power.
President Anarkali Bazar Atiq-ur-Rehman while talking to Minute Mirror said that most of the customers come out during the last Ashra (ten days) of Ramadan but this year load shedding hampers the business in the market. He continued that the overall inflation situation of the country also hit the businesses of the market.
On a question, he said that the shopping festival event couldn’t enhance the business activities of the market as it was started very late. On other hand, the president of Liberty Market Mian Zahid said that more customers visited the market as compared to the previous year. He said that despite the inflation and price hike, shopkeepers are satisfied with the economic activities that occurred during Ramadan.