Baishakh sales peak | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, April 13, 2016 / LAST MODIFIED: 03:00 AM, April 13, 2016

Baishakh sales peak as people prepare to welcome Bangla New Year

Local clothing brands look to gross Tk 1,500cr this year

Local clothing retailers are expanding their businesses to cash in on the shopping spree ahead of Pahela Baishakh, the largest cultural festival in the country.

The Baishakhi clothing sales are projected to be around Tk 1,500 crore, up 20 percent year-on-year.

To have a larger share of this, Rang Bangladesh, a leading local clothing brand, opened a new showroom in Mymensingh last week.

"Three months ago, we opened another showroom in Dhaka, targeting the Pahela Baishakh customers," said Soumik Das, chief executive officer of Rang. "The response from the customers is good this year."

The occasion sees the highest sales after the Eid-ul-Fitr, he said.

Soumik says the middle income people are their main target. As a result, the prices of Baishakhi panjabis has been fixed between Tk 700 and Tk 2,000 a piece. But, for the upscale customers, the prices can go up to Tk 3,000.

Like Rang, about 200 other local clothing brands have either expanded their operations ahead of the Baishakh celebration or are considering it for the next Pahela Baishakh.

Anjans, another local brand, plans to open a showroom in Sylhet next week, taking the total number of its outlets to 18, said Shaheen Ahmmed, CEO of Anjans.

"We are very happy with the sales trend this season. We expect 20 percent higher sales this year than that of last year, thanks to favourable economic and political conditions."

The Baishakhi allowance for the public servants, introduced this year, has come as a boon for the business, he continues.

Unlike during the Eids, people on Pahela Baishakh prefer locally made attires, which makes the profit even better, Ahmmed adds.

Rezaul Kabir, head of business development of Epyllion Group that runs the brand Sailor, too hopes to do well on the occasion.

"We are ready with new collection at the showrooms ... We do not have saris but we have good collections of three pieces and two pieces for young girls."

Sailor is selling Punjabis for between Tk 1,200 and Tk 1,500 a piece and apparels for the young between Tk 1,700 and Tk 2,500.

"We have also premium collection for the special customers and the prices of those collections are also a bit high," adds Kabir.

With the Pahela Baishakh just a day away, apparel showrooms in Dhaka and other divisional cities are crowded with customers.

"We are passing a very busy time. The crowds of customers looking for Baishakhi attires are increasing every day," said Arman Ahmed, salesman at a shop a clothing store in the capital's Bashundhara Shopping Mall.

Billal Hossain bought a panjabi for Tk 2,150 from the mall on Sunday.

"I have a plan to buy some more clothes. Those will be for my family members ... I usually buy new clothes ahead of Pahela Baishakh every year," he said.

Azharul Hoque Azad, president of Fashion Entrepreneurs' Association of Bangladesh that has more than 150 members, believes this year's sales will be 20 percent higher than that of the last year.

"The total Baishakhi sales will hopefully be around Tk 1,500 crore."

The prices of yarn and fabrics this year are lower than those of the last year, and so the clothes' prices are low, Azad claims.

"We also have the potentials in foreign markets as a lot of Bangladeshis now live overseas."

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