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Window-shopping only option for the poor

LAHORE – “I know that papa will not let me purchase my favourite trouser as it is expensive and he has not enough money to buy one for me and now I will not force him to do so.”

These views were expressed by a 10-year-old young boy who came for Eid shopping along with his father at Naqi Market, The Mall on Monday.
However, the words of such innocent boy perhaps are enough to expose the purchasing power of the citizens on the eve of Eid which is disappointing due to skyrocketing prices of products and increasing inflation rate in the country. Moreover, the traders’ community is also seemed dissatisfied with the current situation due to poor purchasing power of the consumers.

Despite the above mentioned situation, as Eidul Fitr draws nearer shopping for the festival is gaining momentum. People are seen buying various items ranging from clothes to footwear, while shopkeepers have decorated their shops to attract the customers.

Perhaps, in order to avoid rush and other problems, many people have finished their Eid shopping in the early days of Ramazan but majority of them are busy in shopping these days and itching to celebrate Eid with their near and dear ones.

Whereas the Eid shopping will continue till the Chand Raat while mostly people used to go for shopping on that particular day. Some citizens are of the view that they enjoy shopping more on the Chand Raat because such practice has become a tradition among the citizens from years.

Further, jubilant mood of young girls, women and youth is approaching on full swing and gearing up shopping. Colourful Eid stalls established at various points in the provincial metropolis are offering different kinds of henna besides, cosmetics, earrings, gleaming bangles, embroidered clothes, jewellery, handbags, shoes and colourful dresses.

As Eid is almost 8 to 9 days away, the markets including Rang Mehal, Islampura, Shah Alam Market Aurega Centre Gulberg, Ichhra Bazaar, Baghbanpura Bazaar Shadbagh, Chah Miran and Sadar Bazaar besides Anarkali, Liberty, Main Boulevard, Model Town Link Road, Y-block and N-Block Defence Housing Authority have been flared up with lights and rush of shoppers.

At the same time inflation has also marred the shopping mania among people. Aamna, 25, has said it is impossible for a customer to buy an ordinary suit due to unprecedented price hike.

But a shopkeeper has informed that as the inflation has been increased up to 50 to 60 per cent as compared to last year, so we have to increase 60 to 70 per cent in the prices of all commodities.

Talking to TheNation, Imran, a shopkeeper at Panorama Centre, dispelled the impression that prices of commodities had increased. He said that annual sale of different items like children clothes, ladies cloth and gents wear gave enough relief to the people. Further, some shopkeepers said that the imported cloth from China had disturbed the local market because it was cheaper and therefore customers preferred it.

People usually complain of price hike during Ramazan, but they cannot resist shopping and buying gifts for their family members and friends.
Ayub, a sales manager at a shoe store, said the store had a profitable business as compared to last year. “This year, we sell cheaper shoes to compete with the onslaught of Chinese footwear. So far we have received an encouraging response,” he added.

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