Islamabad-Where skyscraper shopping malls and posh sector markets of the green city have lured the natives with eye-catching sale offers, makeshift salesmen are struggling to sell their items due to mild cold weather.

The famous ‘lunda’ commonly known for second hand clothes has pulled less number of customers – which belongs to lower middle and underprivileged class of the society. And the salesmen are praying for the early downpour to give a boost to their business in this season.

Unlike the display of items behind glinted glasses in shopping malls, these retailers showcase all bits and pieces along the roadside to give an easy access to their customers.

The vendors at Pir Wadhai, Sector G-9 and Abpara are worried as two months have passed since they set winter attires on footpaths and bus stands but the sale has remained less than half as compared to last year.

Leather jackets-new and second hand, long coats are hanged on ropes with the support of trees while sweaters, socks, trousers, scarves, caps, joggers and shawls are set on footpaths. People passing by these makeshift stalls stop for a while, picks an item of need and bargain the price.

If both sides agree on the cost, then the deal is finalized otherwise the customer walks away. And most customers were seen only bargaining while less interested in purchasing the item. Samiullah is from Mardan and for the last six years he set his stall of leather jackets including new and used at Abpara market near Lal Masjid.

“Last year sale was nearly Rs 5000 per day including the profit margin because of chilled weather but now it has reduced to 2000 per day hardly,” he said.

Price range of leather jackets ranges from 2200 to 1400 but according to Samiullah only one or two pieces are sold in a day.

“Customer argues that the weather is not cold so the price is not justified,” he said.

Most of the vendors selling winter stuff at Lunda market bring the stock from Lahore where they pick used items as per the weight and new on very less price. Mursaleen at G-9 sector, talking to The Nation said that rate at lunda is 70 per cent less as compared to the market and poor people visits this market who can’t afford fixed prices.

“Dry spell has severely affected our business this year and we have not sold the 1st consignment brought this season,” said Mursaleen.

Another vendor Subhanallh at Pir Wadhai bus station said that total season for the sale of winter Lunda is consist of four months staring from October to the end in January.

“December is the peak time of sale but this year our two months have gone in loss and if it rains, it won’t make much difference,” he said.

He said this year profit will remain less than half compare to last one.

According to Subhan, the customer is using last year clothes till now due to rainless chilled weather. He also stated that number of ladies customers has fallen very much and variety of ladies winter stuff has remained almost unsold.

“Ladies customers mostly come to buy pair of socks here while sweaters and long coats are not demanded,” he said.

Meanwhile, Akhtar Shah at Abpara Market said that though the business this year till now has remained disappointing but sale has slightly improved because of Christmas celebrations.

“Our customer belongs to poor class and because of Christmas, the nearby community living in slums has given some heartbeat to the business,” he said.

But daily sale margin has remained very low comparatively to last year, said Akhtar.

Meanwhile, a couple busy in testing the tropical coat talking to The Nation said that they are not looking for a woollen piece.

“Because the winter is not very cold so I am using the previous year’s stuff,” Said Kashif. He said he purchased this new coat to wear on the occasion of Christmas.

Another customer, Ahmed Ali, has come to purchase a waistcoat at Abpara lunda stalls. “Winter clothes variety is good here, but I am looking for a waistcoat because there is no need to purchase a jacket or sweater, as days are still warm,” he said.

Akhtar Shah also informed The Nation that he and other vendors sitting beside the road daily come in morning and display their items.

“When the sun sets, we all pack these items in shawls and sheets and take it back to our rooms,” he said.

According to him they are not allowed by the city administration to do business on footpaths but officials also give some relaxation because they are poor and cannot own a shop. He said sometimes administration also takes action and confiscates the material along with imposing a fine ranging from Rs 1000 to 2000.

Meanwhile there was an announcement of Namz-e-Istasqa (prayer for rain) from nearby Mosque, in which all faithful were called to attend the prayer for rain.

“All must pray this Namaz, as God is not happy due to our wrong deeds,” said Akhtar.