A little sympathy, buyers?’

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To relieve the summer’s itch citizens turn to buy umbrellas, sun glasses and T-caps. But sellers continue to be scorched by inflation, load shedding and the city government’s strict measures against road side stalls and carts.

Unlike umbrellas, there has not been a notable increase in sale of sun glasses and T-cap sales. Sellers also deny that they charge unfair profits. No money to by ‘side items’: Terming the sale of such items a part of window shopping, a sun glasses’ seller Muhammad Akram said “Inflation has changed shopping trends. People no longer have capacity to buy these side items.

“These items are not such that people will come to buy them with planning. They come to buy clothes or shoes. Sun glasses and caps are included in side shopping,” he said.He told that he could only sell an average of eight pieces of sunglasses each day which make up a daily income of Rs 800-1000. Out of which more than 70% is cost.

“My profit is only 200 a day. Everyone knows how hard it is to run a family in such little income, Akram added.CDGL crackdown: Another misery that has recently befallen them is the city governments’ operation against roadside stalls. Naeem Khan, a street vendor who met Pakistan Today near Barkat market, said that he was able to open his kiosk only in the evening timings due to fear of the anti-encroachment force.

“Even now they can come anytime. They do not only ask one to close the stall. Rather they take away the stall and products in trucks,” he added. Sharing his story, he told that he had come from tribal areas after his home was devastated in a Taliban attack. “Mostly people in this business are Pathans and they have similar backgrounds as mine. I bring the items from Rawalpindi and sell them in Lahore,” he said.

Loadshedding has decreased customers: Sale has declined due to load shedding which has meant citizens are reluctant to visit shops. Customers now come to the market only to fulfill their needs and our attempts to bring them to our stalls go in vain, stall holders complained. Venders, however, agree that prices have shot up but say it is justified because load shedding and inflation have gone up.

Shakir Khan, a vendor on Ferozepur road near Canal Bridge admitted that he had been selling T-caps and umbrellas for an increased price but said, “The monthly rent I pay is Rs 20,000 and it is difficult to balance income and expenditure. Therefore I have to try to sell items for a price Rs 20-50 higher than last year.”

The shopkeeper needs it more than I do: Rabia Zafar, a house wife shopping in Anarkali, told Pakistan Today that she had bought umbrellas for her school-going children. “I paid Rs 400 for two small umbrellas. They might have been a little expensive but I thought if I could afford to pay Rs 10-20 rupees extra then why not? The shopkeeper probably needs it more than I do,” she said.

Revealing gender trends in summer shopping, shopkeepers said women were buying more than women. “Amongst daily customers, male buyers make up only 5 to 10 % of our sales,” shopkeeper Ali Akbar said. Positing one possible reason, Madiha, a customer, said, “Females are much more conscious about their eyes, skin and complexion, so they pay more attention to saving themselves from the heat and the rays of the sun.”

“Women are better customers than men. They easily agree to pay a little more than men,” Ali Akbar added.

1 COMMENT

  1. women r b8r customers than males …..yup… because recently i hv bought an unbrella in 285 rs nd my male fellow gave nly 200 of tht umbrella. i prefer vanders/ pathans ovr shopkeepers as they charge quite reasonable amount.

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