Consumers’ affordability decreasing
Mahfuz Emran: After the increase in the price of fuel, the prices of daily commodities are increasing by leaps and bounds. In the last one month, household expenses have increased by 15-20 percent. However, the income of employees did not increase during this time. They are forced to cut costs. This has also affected the market. Sales are down. Traders are uncomfortable. They say people have cut back on shopping due to rising household expenses. Buy as much as you need.
This information is known by talking to some of the main wholesale markets and retailers of the capital. Apart from this, the same information has been given by the product sellers and product marketing companies of different brands of shopping malls.
Moulvibazar is the capital’s largest commodity market. Some parts of Moulvibazar and Begombazar have developed big business centers. All kinds of products including edible oil, flour, flour, sugar, pulses, spices, milk powder are bought and sold here.
There is no specific information about how much money is traded in this market every day. However, the business leaders think that earlier, hundreds of crores of rupees were traded here a day, which has now reduced to Tk 70-80 crores.
Moulvibazar Business Association President Syed Md. Bashir Uddin According to him, due to the unstable market situation, the purchase and sale of daily commodities in Moulvibazar has decreased by 20-30 percent.
Bashir Uddin told, ‘Buyers come here from different parts of the country. Currently the market is extremely volatile. Because of this, the number of buyers has also decreased. Earlier in the day, hundreds of millions of rupees were traded in this market. Now it is reduced by 20-30 percent. The wholesalers who are coming, have reduced the amount of products purchased than before.
Bashir believes that trade has decreased due to two reasons. First of all, the prices are fluctuating rapidly. Because of this, no one wants to take the risk of loss by buying products at higher prices. The second reason is that the purchasing power of traders has decreased due to increase in prices. Bashir Uddin said that much less products are being bought at the same cost than before.
Golam Mawla is a big businessman of Moulvibazar. He is the President of Bangladesh Wholesale Edible Oil Traders Association. Golam Mawla told, “Sellers like buyers are not relieved when the price of products increases. People think sellers may have increased profits. Actually, it doesn’t. Due to increase in price, sales of sellers also decrease. Then you have to invest more capital. Risk of loss also increases. We have been facing such a situation for the past one month.
Sales of Manihari products halved
Chawkbazar is next to Moulvibazar in Old Dhaka. Collection of various Manihari products including plastic products, cosmetics, imitation jewellery, children’s toys, bags are here. Most of the country’s retailers buy products from this market at wholesale rates. But now the traffic of buyers has decreased in Chawkbazar. Sales fell by half.
Bangladesh ManihariVanik Samiti is an organization of Chawkbazar traders. About five thousand shopkeepers in Chawkbazar are members of this organization. Besides, there are shops in different areas of Dhaka.
Senior vice-president of Manihari Merchants’ Association, Haji Mohammad Nasser told, “Manihari products are necessary but not everyday products. Due to this, if the price increases, the demand decreases. Import costs have increased abnormally as the dollar appreciates. But we are not able to adjust (increase) the price. Sales are already low, if the price is adjusted, it will be in more trouble.
SS Enterprises of Chowkbazar. This shop sells schoolbags, travelbags, wallets, ladiesbags, photo albums and photo frames at wholesale and retail prices. The leader of the organization is Shimul Islam.
He said, “The situation is very bad. No sale at all. I am sitting on the road by importing products at high prices. People don’t have money. No one is buying extra products. Earlier many orders came from Gramganj every day. It has decreased a lot. Profit is far from being talked about, I am struggling to meet the expenses of myself and employees.
The sale of clothes and shoes has also decreased
Fulbaria is the biggest shoe market in Dhaka. And Islampur is famous for selling clothes. Buyers from different districts and upazilas of the country come to these two markets. Shopping was going on from morning till midnight. However, even after visiting these two markets, not many buyers were seen. But earlier these markets used to be full of vendors, hawkers, porters, van drivers day and night. Pushing through the crowd was difficult.
Billal Hossain, manager of Islampur’s Karim Mansion, Three Star Fashions, said, ‘Some days, not even a rupee is being sold till noon. In other years, advance orders for winter clothing would come in at this time. This year there is no response. I am sitting and paying the salary of the employees.
He said, “If you sell clothes at the previous price now, you will lose.” The price has increased a lot. However, the demand is reduced and there is no courage to ask for an additional price. Now the cost of running the store, the salaries of the employees are not going up. The whole thing is now a loss.
Mahmudul Hasan, a businessman of Fulbaria shoe market, said, “Most of our customers are traders from different districts of the country.” They buy from here at wholesale prices. Earlier at least 5-6 big wholesale buyers used to come from Mofswal every day. They used to buy a lot of goods at once. Now there are one or two a week. But they are not buying more expensive products like before. Telling about the crisis.
Due to the lack of sales, the wholesalers are not getting the money due. It is difficult to pay the loan installments taken from the bank.
People not interested in luxury goods
Mobile phone sales are at rock bottom. Prices of cosmetics, perfumes, soaps have increased, sales have also decreased. The gold market is also volatile. Demand for all luxury goods, including electronic goods, has fallen. Reconditioned private cars, air conditioning (AC) are not for sale. Not only import-dependent luxury goods, but a big blow to the sale of luxury goods produced in the country.
The manager of a luxury goods retailer in Bashundhara City Shopping Complex said on condition of anonymity, “The company is not able to run the brand. Prices are increased by increasing the cost of imports. After that the sales decreased completely. Every showroom has already been staffed. Various steps have been taken including salary cuts to reduce costs.
Former president of Bangladesh Reconditioned Vehicles Importers and Dealers Association (Bervida) Abdul Haque told, “Our car sales have decreased by 40 percent. People are not buying cars. Everyone is in a crisis. Even the upper-middle class is afraid to spend money now. Their casual expenses have also increased. Everyone is watching the situation.
Bad times for marketing cos
The country’s marketing companies are also at risk due to reduced sales. Smaller companies in particular are struggling to survive. Recession does not cut the business of most companies.
It is known that several luxury goods supplier companies have stopped importing their products. Companies producing luxury goods in the country are also struggling to meet their expenses. Sustained business with losses
Syed Alamgir, Managing Director (MD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Akiz Venture Limited, one of the country’s leading marketing personalities told, “People are in such a situation that they are not buying anything beyond what they need to survive.” They are not able to bear the additional cost of living. These are tough times for marketing. Business management now has increased investment, increased risk. But the profit has decreased.
He said, “In a few months, the cost of imports and the price of the dollar have increased at an unusual rate. No one is able to produce or import goods at affordable cost. If the price is adjusted (increased) in all products, people will not be able to buy. Both producers and sellers are in crisis.
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