Traders still remain divided over the sale of Eid-related items each year. Likewise, they have differing opinions on the market share of imported items consumed, especially from China. Some of them are quick to say that Chinese items still dominate the markets, but others dispute the claim that the share of these products is eroding after becoming more expensive given the high cost of imports. due to the depreciation of the rupee against the dollar and the surge in freight rates.
In the absence of authentic data on the import of fabrics and finished items as well as sales trends from previous years, traders are making wild guesses based on their day-to-day interactions with people in the market. All Hyderi Business Traders and Welfare Association (AHBTWA) chairman Syed Mohammad Saeed said China still holds a 70% share in children’s clothing and footwear.
He said that after a big entry in men’s suits, Chinese shalwar kameez (cotton and wash and wear) fabric is also seen. Indian stitched and unstitched fabrics are already famous during the wedding season.
“Indian items, arriving through illegal channels, are cheap for consumers,” Saeed said, adding that two or three markets are raided in Karachi every year for selling contraband cloth and other items. He claimed that sales of Eid-related items, both imported and locally made, remained sluggish by 20-30% as the high cost of living in recent years has severely affected people’s purchasing power. consumers.
In a context of decreasing local purchasing power, Chinese and Indian clothing and footwear still occupy a significant share of the market
The elite classes may be immune to the vagaries of the surge, but almost 40% of families have had to borrow for Eid expenses because their regular budget is too tight to afford the indulgence.
He said it had an impact on customer behavior. People, who used to buy several clothes for the family, had to make do with only one pair of clothes for their dependents on Eid day.
Markaze Anjuman-e-Tajiran Pakistan, Kashif Chaudhry said, “I don’t think Chinese or other imported products have a big market share now because local manufacturers have gained a lot of ground as the government has decided to limit the imports.
In addition, political uncertainty prompted many people to keep Eid expenses to a minimum and save their savings to cover future risks, he said.
Tariq Road Traders Alliance (TRTA) Chairman Ilyas Memon claimed that Chinese children’s items hold 65% of the market. However, he said local manufacturers of children’s clothing and footwear improved quality during the suspension of imports during Covid-19.
He claimed that Pakistani items are cheaper than Chinese items. Men’s suits and shalwar kameez fabrics are also coming in while Indian fabrics and suits are sold openly. Indian and Chinese jewelry is also very attractive to young girls and women. Mr Memon said Eid-related sales were only 30-40% this year due to people’s declining purchasing power.
Bohri Bazar Traders Association Chairman Mansoor Jack said Chinese children’s clothes and shoes hold 85 percent market share, while Thai, Korean and Indonesian products are also available in the markets. Locally made children’s shoes are 10 to 20 pc cheaper than Chinese shoes made expensive by the devaluation of the rupee and high freight rates. However, the prices of Pakistani items have also increased by 10-15%.
Mr Jack said Eid sales are relatively better than pandemic years for obvious reasons.
Giving a completely different view, All City Tajir Itehad Association (ACTI) Secretary General Ahmed Shamsi also reiterated China’s decline in Eid market share falling to 25%. The share of Thailand, Vietnam, etc. is 10% in children’s clothing.
Shamsi said sales are much better than in 2019, 2020 and 2021, but are still 50% below the pre-pandemic boom period in 2018. Rising food inflation, food bills High utilities and low incomes have forced people to limit their purchases, he added. A salesperson at a branded men’s sewn clothing store at Lucky One Mall said another reason for low footfall closer to Eid was early shopping during the March 23 sales.
Chairman Kapra Market Association Kaghazi Market behind Memom Masjid, MA Jinnah Road, Sheikh Mohammad Alam said Chinese unsewn women’s fabrics, lace, linen, silk, embroidery work and stone work now hold a market share of 20-25% while the rest of the share is enjoyed by Pakistani Goods as the majority of men’s and women’s unsewn fabrics arrive from Faisalabad. He said market people are placing orders in China and delivery is coming in 45 days. Ashraf Issani from the same market said Indian unsewn/sewn items are usually sold in Jama Cloth market and some other markets in Karachi.
Posted in Dawn, The Business and Finance Weekly, May 2, 2022