KARACHI: Traders in the city have fixed a sales target of Rs60 billion for this Eidul Fitr shopping — up from Rs 40bn in 2017 and Rs 50bn in 2016.

In the last five years of PML-N government, highest sales of Rs70bn were witnessed in 2015 in Karachi.

Talking to Dawn, traders said so far sales have remained insipid during the day — from 1pm till post-Iftar — as the scorching heatwave and humidity kept buyers away from the markets. Buyers prefer arriving in markets after Iftar.

Justifying the sales target of Rs60bn, Chairman All Karachi Tajir Itehad Atiq Mir said if a person does Eid shopping of at least Rs2,000, than the sales volume comes to Rs40bn keeping in view Karachi’s population of 20 million.

Giving another example, he said if a person spends Rs5,000 on purchasing garments, shoes, gifts, crockery, perfumes, etc, then the shopping volume will reach Rs100bn in Karachi.

Countrywide sales are expected at Rs400bn keeping in view spending of Rs2,000 by the population of 200 million while the figures would reach Rs1,000bn if Rs5,000 is spent by each person, he said.

Trading activity yet to pick up in the city due to heat and humidity

“These are very conservative estimates as sales have yet to pick up pace — especially in the evening — due to the heatwave. Sales will definitely improve in the last 10 days of Ramazan,” he added.

However, he said, sales outlook looks far low keeping in view the Rs350bn new notes being printed by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) which people will spend on Eidi to the children.

Assuming that some 40 per cent people are living below the poverty line and do not make a single purchase for Eid, the sales volume will still run into billions, he stressed.

However, there are many people who hand over at least one shalwar kameez suit to those who cannot afford new wear clothes on Eid. As a result, this also marks in the sale register.

He said well-to-do people do spend heavily on Eid — from Rs10,000-15,000 per person — keeping in view the price of branded shalwar kameez ranging between Rs4,000-7,000.

The price of branded ladies lawn suit and types of suits (two and three piece joras) starts from Rs3,000 to Rs12,00.

Chairman Alliance of Arambagh Market Association, Mohammad Asif Gulfam said, “The heatwave has ruined our daily sales (before Iftar). Traders are looking forward to improved sales as more people will turn up in the markets after receiving their salaries.”

Devaluation of the rupee against the dollar and other factors had pushed up prices of various items, he added. The price of ladies and gents unstitched and stitched garments has increased by at five per cent in the last one year.

Published in Dawn, June 2nd, 2018