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10 April, 2016 00:00 00 AM

Pahela Baisakh bonanza

Second-biggest sale time after Eid-ul-Fitr
Kaniz Fatima
Pahela Baisakh bonanza

Gronthee, a Class I student of Bangladesh International Tutorial, was thrilled when her mother, Farhana Haque, a teacher of the same school, bought a very cute colourful dress for her on the occasion of Pahela Baisakh from a showroom of a leading fashion and lifestyle brand of the capital on Thursday evening. Farhana Haque and her colleagues had gone shopping for themselves and their family members for Baisakh, and Gronthee, a pretty little girl, went with her mother to choose her dress herself.
Like Gronthee, many boys and girls are going with their parents to local fashion houses like Anjan’s, Deshel, Nipun, Kay Kraft and Rang in the capital to buy their Pahela Baisaikh dresses. Fashion boutiques houses are upbeat on sales prospects during Pahela Baisakh, the first day of Bangla New Year, as consumers seem to be on a shopping spree.
“Pahela Baisakh is not an ordinary day. It is related to our culture and heritage. It is a special day, which gets the nation together, regardless of caste and religion. Now, Baisakh has become the second biggest event after Eid-ul-Fitr for around 50,000 boutique shops of the country,” said a boutique owner.
Officials of popular boutiques shops said that they are ready with an array of items to meet the demand during the second-biggest shopping time of the year.
Sheikh Lotus, Manager of Kay Kraft, Gulshan branch, said that Kay Kraft has 18 showrooms including 15 in Dhaka and others in Chittagong and in Montreal, Canada. The sale is better this year compared to last year. “Kay Kraft has introduced a special item ‘Ready Sari’ (ready to wear saris) for baby girls this year. The price of ‘Ready Sari’ is between Tk 1,250 to Tk 1,650. The response for this item from customers is very good,” the official said.
“The highest price of three piece suits is Tk6,500 and the lowest price is Tk2,125. Punjabis are selling at Tk 850 to Tk 2,450. Kay Kraft has special Punjabis with prices starting from Tk 6,000. Dresses for baby boys are selling between Tk 350 and Tk 2,500 and dresses for baby girls are in the range of Tk 450 to Tk 2195,” he added.
Ashfaque Ahmed, a Manager of a showroom of Deshal in Dhaka, said sale is comparatively better this year. Visiting the showroom of Deshal, it was found that saris are selling between Tk1,500 and Tk3,300, three piece suits between Tk1,400 and Tk 3,200 and single piece Kameez between Tk 800 and Tk 1,450. Fotua for children is selling at Tk 190 to Tk 700. Dresses for baby girls are between Tk 300 to Tk 800.
“We have already completed our preparations to meet the demands of the customers for Baisakhi clothes,” said Lipi Khandaker, Fashion designer and owner of Bibiana, one of the leading fashion houses of the country. “The sale is still average but hope it will pick up within days,” she added.
“We always try to present a new theme when we design clothes for Baishakh to meet changing tastes every year. This year, on the occasion of Pahela Baisakh, we have introduced a new theme named ‘Tash’ (dram). The clothes under this theme are already popular among consumers,” Lipi Khandaker told The Independent.
The number of customers is satisfactory and they expect it to increase further as the festival nears,” said the officials of Kay Kraft, Anjan’s, Deshel, and Banglar Mala.
Saris and Punjabis are usually sold during Pahela Baisakh, but three piece suits are also in demand. “We are hopeful that sales will pick up within a few days. There will be brisk business two or three days before Pahela Baisakh,” said an official of a boutique.
Pahela Baisakh is a colourful festival, and most people prefer to wear colourful dresses to celebrate the occasion. Red, orange pink and blue are the most favoured shades.
Fashion designers said they have tried to depict the long cultural heritage of the country in the items made for Baisakh and leading fashion houses said they have kept prices affordable.
Nuruzzman, senior Sale Executive of Anjan’s, said “We have collections for all sorts of buyers. Our family set is the most attractive to customers. We have marching saris for women and baby girls as well as matching Punjabis for family members.”
“We put emphasis on bright colours and our sale is higher compared to the last year and price is also affordable,” he added.
Officials of Kay Kraft and Anjan’s said the price of their items have not increased this year. However, shoppers like Yesmeen Akter Meem, a student of Dhaka University, said that prices are a little high, but there are more varieties in the market.
There are around 200 boutiques in Aziz Super Market in the capital, which offer trendy items during festivals. Though customers are upbeat, they have expressed dissatisfaction over prices. Boutiques shops, like Kopor-e- Bangla and ABRU, are also gearing up for the festival.
Morsalin Bithun, owner and Designer of Kapor-e-Bangla, said “We have brought about changes in style and motifs to meet the changing tastes of customers. We have kept Punjabis and Kurtis (short Kameez) in our collection. The price of Punjabis is between Tk 700 to Tk 1,100. Three-piece suits are selling between Tk 1,500 to Tk 3,000. Single piece Kameez is between Tk 700 to Tk 1,200. The price of Fotua for baby boy is Tk 350 to Tk 650, while for Punjabi is Tk 550 to Tk 750. Tops for baby girls are between Tk 450 to Tk 650, while three-piece is Tk 850 to Tk1,500.
Leading fashion house Aarong has collections for all types of buyers, including Salwar-Kameez for ladies and Punjabis for gents, but shoppers were critical of their high prices.
Local fashion houses are targeting an impressive Tk1,500 crore in sales revenue across the country during Pahela Baisakh. The Entrepreneurs Association of Bangladesh (FEAB) revealed their ambitious target at a press conference at the Dhaka Reporters Unity (DRU) on Thursday.
FEAB president, Azharul Haque Azad, said that local fashion houses are ready to go for ‘mega sales’, like previous years, as the festival is approaching. This year, sales may even be boosted by the implementation of the first-ever Baisakh bonus for public servants.
The FEAB president said the local fashion industry has been facing various problems due to ‘invasion’ of foreign retailers. Many local fashion houses have already been forced to wrap up their business in the last couple of years.
“Favourable policy support from the government is ‘a must’,” Azad said, “to explore the potential of local fashion products.”
A Baisakhi fashion show was held at the Shilpakala Academy yesterday to promote fashion products, and to add to the hype and festivity of the season.
Local popular fashion houses like Anjan’s, Deshal, Nipun, AB Fashion Maker, M Craft, Bibiana, Kay Kraft, Rang, Sada-Kalo, Tangail Sharee Kutir and Miya Bibi participated in the fashion show.


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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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