LAHORE – The increasing popularity of online shopping ahead of Eid-ul-Fitr among Pakistanis has upset the traders of local markets.
With the advent of technology and internet people are exposed to a wide range of things, which are easily accessible as the whole world is just a click away.
The changing trend of shopping among the consumers is replacing the traditional way of shopping and slowing down the sales of giant shopping malls and local markets, including Saddar Bazaar, Ichhra Bazaar, Pace shopping centre, Model Town Bank Square Market and Liberty Market.
According to a survey conducted by The Nation on Wednesday in bazaars and markets, shopkeepers are selling all the stuff at comparatively higher prices as compared to last year.
On Facebook, different brands are offering Eid-ul-Fitr discounts from 20 percent to 40 percent to lure the potential customers who are always looking for these kinds of deals.
Daraz.pk is offering 20 percent discount on shoes, 40 percent discount on stylish jewellery and 70 percent on kids fashion and toys. The website strives to make sure that the best collections of designer clothing and fashion shoes are brought onto people’s computer screen.
The famous brands Kayseria, Khaadi, Sana Safinaz, Gul Ahmed and Amir Adnan have started selling their new collections like hot cakes on the internet. To establish e-commerce industry banks and telecommunication brands are offering amazing discounts on online Shopping Day for Eid and Ramazan. Thus online shopping has become an increasingly popular and much liked trend, which has gained a lot of momentum. If it continues to facilitate people like this, it might take over the retail stores.
Talking to The Nation, retailer Faisal Janjua, owner of a shop in Liberty Market, said this year they were floating special offers to attract buyers. “I have done publicity of my products through my Facebook page. There is only a specific class, which comes to purchase clothes for Eid-ul-Fitr in Liberty and elsewhere in posh areas, while a large number of people is buying online due to special discount offers,” he said.
“If we are selling unstitched embroidered lawn for Rs4,000, they are selling the same product for Rs3,500 with free home delivery. We have increased the prices of all our stuff because this year there is no sale,” he said.
Jawad Malik, resident of Samanabad, said he came to Ichhra market to purchase suits and shoes for his children but changed his mind after finding out that they were very expensive. “There is no check on the shopkeepers. The price of a pair of standard shoes for children ranges between Rs600 to Rs800 which is higher than last year,” he said.
Khaadi store manager Amir said that those who live near shopping malls prefer to buy on their own. “In comparison, walk in sales as compared to last year have fallen. Mostly people are purchasing online and we are going out of stock this time,” he said. Fashion designer Arsalan Iqbal was of the view that e-commerce was the future of clothing line. “Awareness has improved so much that now it has surpassed retail store sales.”
“If we compare the online sales with the average sales of one of our highest sales generating flagship outlet then yes, online business is going head to head,” he said.
Fashion designer Erum Khan was of the view that her brand had specific lines catering to each segment and price point, fulfilling the design needs of each. “Bridal wear is expensive that is the reason international buyers rather than local prefer purchasing bridal wear online. On Eid, embroidered lawn is more sold online because of the prices,” she said.
Shopkeeper Babar Awan of Anarkali said that people were not coming to bazaars due to sweltering heat. “Online shopping special offers do not worry us. Middle and lower middleclass people come here for shopping. They don’t come at day time; they start coming after Iftar. Hopefully, the Eid rush will start in a couple of days,” Babar said.