KARACHI: An increase in sales of readymade garments, unstitched clothes, shoes, etc, ahead of Ramazan isn’t enough to impress traders and shopkeepers who say they have to offer bigger discounts to attract customers this time around.
Those who offered 10 per cent discount last year are now clearing the stocks with 25-40pc discount. Some leading shoemakers are even offering discounts of up to 70pc.
Many departmental garment stores are also luring shoppers with price cuts ranging between 20pc and 70pc.
However, traders said one reason for depressed sales was the final days of the month when the salaried class usually runs out of cash and tightens the purse strings. “We may see some good sales from June 1,” a retailer said.
Representatives of different trade bodies contacted by Dawn said traders have so far been reluctant to invest due to political unrest triggered by Panama Papers leaks and most of them were trying to get rid of the old stock with good price offers.
All-Karachi Tajir Ittehad President Atiq Mir said the pre-Ramazan sales went up by 40-50pc last year, but this year “sales are lower by 80-90pc despite better law and order”.
He said most of the markets and malls were located on the main roads and people other than shoppers use these roads which gave an impression of booming sales.
Mansoor Jack, senior vice-president of Saddar Alliance of Market Association and the president of Bohri Bazaar, said the number of shoppers ahead of the holy month was 75-80pc less as compared to the last year. Moreover, people refrained from visiting Saddar due to lack of parking space, he said.
Daniyal Mughal, the owner of a ladies garment shop at Tariq Road, said sales were 40-50pc lower than the last year. “We’re trying to clear stock by offering heavy discounts, which means low profit margin.”
The president of Alliance of Arambagh Market Association and Allah Wala Market, Mohammad Asif, claimed a drop of 50pc in sales.
Asif Hassan, a boutique owner at Gulf Shopping Centre in Clifton, said pre-Ramazan sales were down 80pc this year.