Retailers expecting surge in business

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Daisy

Local retailers are expecting a jump in business over the next 5-6 days in view of the upcoming Eid al-Fitr festivities as well as the travel plans of a large number of expatriates starting from the end of this week.

Speaking to Gulf Times over the last couple of days, some hypermarket operators and suppliers of consumables said the retail sector was expected to witness “considerably good” transactions this week due to preparations for Eid al-Fitr.

Some companies have already started disbursing the monthly salaries of their employees owing to the same reason, it is learnt.

“There will be intense spending by residents, including many expatriates, in the coming 5-6 days. Already, it has become evident from the increased levels of business activities at retail outlets over the last few days,” said the operations manager of a mall.

The last week of the previous month had seen a surge in business as many expatriates lined up at retail outlets to buy gifts and goodies before leaving the country for the summer holidays. A similar trend is expected this month as well, say industry insiders.

Meanwhile, the mall official said many affluent locals were still to travel out of the country owing to Ramadan and their trips would mostly start towards the beginning of next week. “As a result, there is heavy spending these days as part of their preparations. Nowhere is this is more evident than in premier outlets that are seeing increased business in their luggage section,” he added.

The suppliers of Arabic gift items, too, have reported a similar rise in business. There is a growing demand for items such as spices, honey, dates, pickles and traditional Arabic sweets at most upmarket retail outlets, especially those places frequented by locals, said a long-time supplier of spices.

There is a similar surge in demand for different kinds of dried foodstuff as well. “Many of those who travel during this time usually make their purchases in the last 4-5 days before the day of travel,” said a senior official at a hypermarket.