Eid shoppers suffer sticker shock

High prices force buyers to rethink Eid plans.


Shahram Haq August 20, 2011

LAHORE:


The city’s markets have been getting busier in recent days as more and more people start their Eid shopping, but high prices have forced many to scale back their purchases.


Peak time at major commercial centres like Liberty Market, Anarkali Bazaar, Moon Market and Ichhra Market and shops on The Mall and Model Town Link Road occurs after iftar and they remain busy till late at night. The stores are decorated with lights and the space in front of shops is taken up by stalls selling cheap jewellery.

Mrs Shaukat was out shopping for Eid clothes for her six-year-old son and for herself. “The material I bought last year for is now almost 70 per cent more expensive,” she said. “It’s the same with cloth I would buy for myself. I will definitely be doing less Eid shopping this year.”

Nadeem Hassan was negotiating with a shopkeeper for the price of material for a shalwar kameez. “I bought this same material for a shalwar six months ago for Rs1,200. Now the same stuff costs Rs2,000,” he complained. “It’s too much. I was planning to buy two suits but now I’m only going to buy one as I have to buy shoes too.”

Shahbaz Rana, who runs a shop in a plaza, said that there were various reasons that prices had gone up, including a rise in wholesale prices and the power shortage. “Our factories are shut 12 hours a day because of power outages. The prices of raw material and labour have also increased,” he said. Rana said that though he badly needed high Eid sales, he did not expect them because of high inflation and the low purchasing power of his customers.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 21st, 2011.

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