Floods, terrorism mar Eid shopping activities in City

PESHAWAR: The flood devastations and terrorism incidents have badly affected Eid shopping activities in the city as attendance of customers and buyers in famous shopping centres and bazaars is very low as compared to last year.

The record-breaking flood that had wreaked havoc in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and rest of the country and terrorist acts in Lahore, Quetta and South Waziristan had also added to the miseries of shopkeepers and exporters.

As Eid is just few days away, the fervour of Eid shopping is yet to pick up momentum in the provincial capital as buyers in limited number are being seen busy in shopping these days.

“The number of buyers is very low in these days due to floods situation and recent terrorist incidents in Lahore and Quetta and hopefully it would increase on Chand Raat,” Fazal Hussain, a cloth shopkeeper in Faqirabad, said.

“Most of the buyers nowadays just enter shops, ask about prices and then return empty-handed,” he said.

One of the reasons of the low attendance of buyers is the low purchasing power of the people badly affected by record-breaking floods and the people also prefer to stay home due to deadly blasts in Lahore and Quetta that claimed lives of innocent people and injuring dozens others.

Customers, however, are not happy with the shooting prices of the imported items like Sohaji Saree, Bezoo woolens, Akthar Jamawar and wallet shaal having prices of about Rs1,500, Rs1,000, Rs600 and Rs1000 respectively, which are beyond purchasing power of the middle class.

The prices of these items are higher than the previous years and are beyond the purchasing capacity of the buyers.

The prices of the children and teenage girls’ wears are high enough in the purchasing power of the middle class.

A short kameez was priced at Rs1,000 this year, as it was available at Rs700 last year.

Similarly, the prices of the ready-made garments of the children and girls are high enough that leaves middle income group gossiping.

“The prices of cloth and shoes this year is very high and beyond the purchasing power of low grade government employees and middle class affected by floods,” Misal Khan, a retired employee, said.

He said most people of flood-hit areas would hardly be able to purchase new cloth or purchase shoe as Eid item due to low purchasing power and washing away of house hold items by floodwater.

Misal urged philanthropists, donor agencies and government agencies to purchase cloths and shoes for children of flood victims so that they could also celebrate Eid with religious enthusiasm.

Meanwhile, the shopping centres and fashionable markets have been flooded with many foreign goods and items which were not available in the markets of the provincial metropolis in the past.

Most of the markets and shopping malls have been illuminated with colourful lights and decorated artistically to attract the customers during night.

Most of the ladies and kids’ wears like sharee, short-kameez, lehanga, woolens knitwears, knitted garments and imitations ornaments have been imported from Dubai, Singapore, China and Thailand as Eid special offers.

The markets and shopping stores are stuffed with internationally famous brands of cosmetics like Wella, lakme and jardana and men women wear like Bazoo, Lee and Wangler.

The Shafi Market in the Cantt area, which was turned into sea of women last year during these days, are attracting very low number of buyers these days owing to recent floods and terrorists incidents in the country.

Sajid Ali Khan, a government servant who went to the City Tower on Sunday told that he used to go to Dubai every year for family shopping but here all of their favourite brands of dresses and cosmetics are now available either in hopping malls of Cantt area or the arcades of the city.

“So therefore I decided not to goes this time abroad for Eid shopping”, he added.

There are shops in the city, which are selling Punjabi garments with variety of designs and colours designed locally.

Akram Khan, a shopkeeper at Peshawar Trade Centre said he was selling Arong and Punjabi lehanga between Rs600 and Rs750 each on the eve of Eid.

It appears that the shopping activities would gains pace in markets as Eid advent became further closer. – APP