With Eid-ul-Fitr just around the corner, shopping malls in Sylhet city are bustling with crowd as shoppers are busy completing their last-minute shopping.
Due to excessive hot weather over the last few days, shopper turnout was almost dry. However, after Monday's rain, people started turning out in numbers as the weather has slightly changed for the better.
Shopping hotspots in the city include Nayasarak, Zindabazar, Kumarpara, Lamabazar and Amberkhana -- where most shopping malls and brand shops are located.
On the other hand, low and lower-middle income people are thronging the makeshift shops on footpaths and roads in Bandarbazar, Zindabazar and Chowhatta areas of the city.
While talking to this correspondent, customers spoke of bitter-sweet experiences regarding their Eid shopping.
Shawan Ahmed, a travel agency businessman from Dakshin Surma, was busy shopping at Maha, where almost all Eid items are found under one roof, in Nayasarak area with his family.
“I am shopping with my mother, wife and other family members and this is more fun than Eid,” he said.
College teacher Kamrul Haque was shopping in Lamabazar area.
He said, “My family and I prefer traditional tant clothing, no matter if it is Tangail, Manipuri or Khadi, for all festivals as we find them comfortable and affordable.”
There are many brand and non-brand shops. In terms of choosing the best outfit for the Eid meeting the budget, the options are limited, he added.
Jakaria Ahmed, a banker, who was shopping at Shukria Market in Zindabazar area, echoed the same.
According to him, the prices of quality clothes are much higher this time in comparison with last year.
On the other hand, shop owners are happy with the volume of sale.
Mahiuddin Ahmed Saleem, owner of Maha, said their shop remains abuzz with customers till midnight.
“These days, we close our shop around 3:00am as people keep pouring in till Sehri time. This year, customers are happy with our collection and we are doing good business,” he said.
Humayun Kabir Jewel, owner of traditional clothing store Shororitu in Lamabazar area, said the sale has been quite satisfactory.
Nihar Kumar Roy, managing director of Kamala Bhandar, a hundred-year-old shop famous for jewellery and clothing at Nayasarak, said it is customary for the Sylhet people to shop at the last moment.
Therefore, shopping malls are experiencing a huge crowd with the Eid approaching.
Meanwhile, to boost Eid sale, many brand shops are offering discounts while many are running promotional campaigns -- both online and offline.