ISLAMABAD: While the change in government remains hot debate, the change in weather has come to the capital and the garrison city. The new season has also demanded new wardrobe. The chill in the air at the advent of winter has sent people rushing for woolen clothes in different markets.
“A number of stalls have been set-up at a various places selling winter stuff including woolen caps, sweaters, socks and warm clothes,” Inam Ullah, a shopkeeper at G-9 Markaz, said.
“I have every kind of warm stuff in stock, but people have mostly been buying woolen caps and sweaters to protect them from cold,” he said.
Asma Zahid, a housewife, complained of higher prices. “I went to the local market to buy warm clothes for my children and observed that the prices of these items were much higher as compared with last year,” she said.
Roadside vendors are also doing a roaring business of warm-apparel, and expect to do much better business in the next couple of weeks.
Meanwhile, prices of blankets, quilts and heating appliances have also gone up.
“We are doing quite a good business these days and it is going to gain further momentum in the days to come,” said a shopkeeper. The streets in the markets are flooded with carts of second-hand winter wear for the same reasons. Imported sweaters, jackets and coats have price tags that are far beyond the reach of ordinary citizens, while the quality of locally-made clothing is not even good enough, according to some, to last a single winter.
“I have made several trips to the Sunday market in G-6 and have checked out several roadside carts as well in order to get a few sweaters for the cold season. Instead of buying cheap Chinese merchandise, I would rather buy used, branded western clothes,” which according to pizza delivery man Salman, outlast the former.
Mohsin Ali, a customer at Aabpara Market, complained that the prices of second-hand clothes were higher this year compared with last year. He said that last year he bought a jacket worth Rs250, but this time after a lot of bargaining, he had to pay Rs450 to the shopkeeper for a similar jacket.
Woollies in demand
Though days are sunny, evenings are cold. And to cash in on the seasonal demand, a number of stalls have sprouted at Aabpara market, G-9 Markaz, commercial market and Rawalpindi Saddar.
Winter gear including wool caps, gloves and mufflers are high in demand, a stall holder said.
Shopkeepers, taking full advantage of the situation, were selling warm clothing at high profit, knowing the fact that people were bound to buy their merchandise.
“I have every kind of warm clothing, but mostly people buy wool caps,” a shopkeeper at Aabpara market said.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 21st, 2017.