First tremors of holiday shopping spree hit stores

- YAMINI BANTAWA, Kathmandu

Sep 14, 2017-Fashion stores in the Kathmandu Valley are seeing the first tremors of the annual holiday shopping spree with the approach of Dashain, the biggest festival of Hindus in the country.

The run-up to Dashain is when people of all ages and income groups purchase new clothes as donning new attire during the feast is considered to be auspicious. This age-old tradition has always pushed up sales of fashion wear during the festive season. 

Stores located at Civil Mall, City Centre, Bhat-Bhateni Supermarket and People’s Plaza that the Post visited all said footfall was gradually increasing, as less than 10 days remain for the feasting extravaganza to officially begin.“Dashain shoppers throng the stores from Ghatasthapana [which is the first day of the festival and falls on September 21 this year]. So, we are bracing for the rush,” said Prakash Humagain, owner of London Top Brands at Civil Mall, Sundhara.

Wills, another fashion store at Civil Mall, said the number of customers had gone up in the past two-three days. “People are just getting into the festive mood,” said Ramesh Shrestha, owner of Wills.

Fashion stores across the country keenly wait for the arrival of this festival, as sales during this period account for 30-40 percent of their annual revenue. 

To cater to this demand, fashion stores make heavy investments to bring in the latest fashion wears from China, India and Thailand.

“Most of our goods have arrived. Our shelves are now filled with new arrivals,” said Kedar Rayamajhi, owner 

of Fashion Bud, a clothing store at City Centre, Kamalpokhari.

New arrivals, however, are going to be costlier than last year, which is expected to make this year’s Dashain quite expensive. 

Although consumer prices, on average, went up by 2.7 percent in July as per the latest Nepal Rastra Bank report, prices of clothes this Dashain are expected to be at least 10 percent higher than last year.

“This is because we have to fly in goods from China as natural disasters like landslides usually obstruct vehicular movement on the new Nepal-China land route via Rasuwagadhi,” said Dilip Gyawali, owner of Pay Centre, a fashion store at City Centre. Nepal gets a big chunk of its clothes and fashion requirements from China.

In spite of a hike in prices of fashion wear, shoppers are unlikely to hesitate to spend a little extra as many cannot resist pampering themselves during the festive season.

“We expect to see the festival rush in a few days,” said Gyan Bahadur Gurung of Bhat-Bhateni Supermarket, Bouddha. “Maybe many are waiting for festive bonus announcements before hitting the shops.”

Published: 14-09-2017 07:22

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