LAHORE  -   Eid shopping has gained momentum as people are thronging shopping malls and other small markets to buy clothes, artificial jewellery and shoes.

Shopkeepers have set up stalls at Liberty as well as Origa shopping centre. As the last ten days of the holy month of Ramazan have started, a large number of stalls have been set up in G1 Market Johar Town, Township Market, Iqbal Town markets and Anarkali.

People have complained that prices of clothes and shoes were higher in comparison to last year in the markets.

Shopkeepers said that price hike was because of rupee devaluation in comparison to dollar. This year, on an average, a T-shirt price is Rs250 to Rs350 higher and there is an increase in price of men’s jeans of Rs200 to Rs300 in comparison to last year. A pair of shoes of good quality is available for Rs1,500, which was easily available last year at around Rs1200, according to a buyer who lives in Shadman area.

A shopkeeper at Liberty said there was an increase in demand for artificial jewellery this year. On the other hand, a worker of bangle manufacturing unit in Shahdara said, “We are working extra shifts to meet the target as Eid is around the corner. We supply bangles of all varieties to almost all major markets in Lahore.”

A shopkeeper, Muhammad Ismael, at Karim Block Market said that shopkeepers have to get their profit. Everybody knows the economic situation and rupee devaluation in the country.

He said this year the price hike is not unprecedented as traders had seen much inflation in the past. He claimed that despite the price hike, shopkeepers were ready compromising on price negotiations with customers.  

Mrs Taqdees, a buyer from Karim Block market said people have always limited buying capacity and additionally the inflation has disturbed her Eid budget. “I appeal to government to look into the matter and come up with a policy to control the policies,” she maintained. 

It is pertinent to mention that makeshift stalls were offering clothes and shoes on cheaper rates.

A buyer from township market said, “If we compare the prices of a pair of jeans and shirt from a brand shop and stall then it is easily understand why there is rush on the stalls because they are offering clothes and shoes on cheaper prices,” Hassan Irfan said. 

A buyer, Namra Iqra said that she came for purchasing shoes and jewelry but prices of goods are too much high which is not affordable for ordinary people.

“The inflation has already made it hard to manage the monthly food, utility, college and utility bills and the price hike leave no space to meet Eid expenditures,” Namra said.

The increasing prices of clothes and shoes make impossible to buy item from a branded shop and ordinary person cannot afford it,” she added.

Anarkali Market, one of the oldest markets of the city, also decorated with the lights where people are visiting for buying propose. Stall owners have been offering multiple ‘packages’ like buy one get one free and buy two get one free  to attract the customers.

City’s markets including Liberty market, Anarkali, Raja market, Icchra, Sadar main bazaar, moon market, Yateem Khana, Township bazaar, PIA Road and DHA were became shopping hubs for families.

Uptown markets including MM Alam Road have also filed with buyers.

Clothing brands are offering several discounts on shoes and jewelry up to 25 on their collections.

Visitors to markets asked the competent authorities that encroachment that has been made in the name of Eid shopping stalls should be removed. The encroachments also become cause of traffic jam in markets.