Inflation, budget crunch dampen Eid outfit shopping festivity

Retailers say they have raised prices to match the rising cost of production

Published : 29 March 2024, 08:23 PM
Updated : 29 March 2024, 08:23 PM

Abdul Bashar went to an outlet of a popular fashion brand for children's dresses ahead of Eid-ul-Fitr. However, the private sector executive returned home empty-handed as the prices exceeded his budget.

Bashar estimates that his family's living costs this Ramadan will be twice his monthly salary.

And, considering the eye-watering prices, he will need over Tk 50,000 for Eid shopping.

Homemaker Ayesha Rahman finished her Eid shopping before the 15th of Ramadan.

"Dress prices seemed a bit higher than last year. We had to visit many shops to find clothes within our budget, but it seemed that prices were high considering the quality and design," she said.

The majority of customers interviewed for this report said the Eid dresses they liked were not within their budget. Some ended up buying a few items, while others only asked for prices to get a sense of the cost.

According to several owners of the capital's popular boutique stores, clothing prices have climbed slightly compared to last year.

The traders claimed a significant rise in production costs due to the soaring prices of fabrics, yarns, and dyes for the price hike. Electricity bills and the increase in garment workers' wages have also affected the price of clothing ahead of Eid.

Khalid Mahmood Khan, the chief executive of Kay Kraft, told, "The dollar rate, rising electricity bills, increased manufacturing costs, wages and rents have increased a lot since last year. As a result, the cost of making garments has increased by 7 to 10 percent this year."

While suggesting initiatives should be taken to tame the price of apparel, Khalid said: "If the prices keep increasing excessively, the number of buyers will also decrease, and this will not be profitable for entrepreneurs. Although the cost of materials has increased, we have made efforts to keep the prices affordable by making creative changes like using minimal designs and simple cuts."

According to Ashrafur Rahman Faruque, the managing director of Nipun Crafts Limited, production prices are up 30 percent this year.

"There is a difference between daily commodities and fashion products. Brands produce small quantities of products to keep them exclusive. If the prices are high, buyers will focus on other brands for exclusive clothing. This year, the prices have been fixed so that customers can buy clothes within their budget," he added.

However, according to the consumers, prices are higher this year.

Homemaker Farzana Akhtar has made several trips to the market to browse for clothes within her budget.

She told "They are charging Tk 3,000 - Tk 4,000 more for products with very simple designs. Before Ramadan, kurtis were available at half the price. They are charging a lot for simple designs on the neck and sleeves. The prices are not compatible with the designs this year."

A shopkeeper at Dhanmondi's Rapa Plaza, who wished to remain anonymous, said everything is more expensive this year as the material costs have increased.

"The clothes made with a lower budget have very simple designs and fabrics," he added.

The chief operating officer of Twelve Clothing Limited, Motiur Rahman, claimed that the increasing costs of electricity, raw materials, inflation, and workers' wages have resulted in the costly price tags for Eid this year.

"The price of cloth has increased by 30 percent. We are trying to face this challenge. We have not yet recovered from the pandemic's impact," said Motiur.

Speaking of competing with international brands, Motiur told "It is difficult to compete with international brands by reducing the price of clothes while maintaining quality. Local brands are almost half the price of international brands."

In addition to the expensive price tags on ready-made items, prices have also risen at the fabric shops at the capital's New Market and Chandni Chowk.

According to the buyers, cotton and synthetic fabrics are up by Tk 10 to Tk 50 per yard.

The shopkeepers have said they are selling katan fabrics at Tk 400 to Tk 500 per yard and synthetic fabrics at Tk 350 to Tk 2,000. While embroidered georgette fabrics have been priced at Tk 700 to Tk 2,000 per yard, tie-dye fabrics are being sold at Tk 90 to Tk 400 ahead of Eid this year.