News Column

Holidays deprive stores of Ramadan profits

June 27, 2014





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JEDDAH: Irfan Mohammed

Traders and vendors in the Kingdom perceive Ramadan as a lucrative month where their profits usually rise due to an increase in the sales of foodstuff. But this is not the case this year in Jeddah.

This time the holy month coincides with the summer vacation and most Saudi families have already left the Kingdom on holiday or planning to do so. Expatriate families too have packed their bags and headed home to spend the vacation there.

Although many shops and supermarkets opted to take pre-emptive measure by announcing sales weeks ahead of Ramadan to cover for expected poor earnings, sales remain below expectations and will most likely decline, some traders said.

The summer vacation has deeply impacted retail sales as sales went down over the past week, a sales supervisor of a leading hyper market told Arab News, stressing that even big stores have suffered and saw their sales going down despite offering several promotional activities to boost sales of major commodities such as sugar, rice, oil and utensils.

"My shops used to generate on average SR8,000 per day but after the holiday started their sales dropped to around SR5,000," said Abdul Hakeem, a Bangladeshi salesman in a leading grocery store in Safa district, adding that it is unlikely that the situation would change in Ramadan.

"At the moment, I am just being repaid debt in installments by customers," said Mohammed Arif Mian, a Pakistani salesman who works in Salamah district.

However, sales in shops in Hera, Sari are considerably better due to the fact that those shops are close to the beach and the seafront where more visitors flock not only from the city but also from nearby cities.


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Source: Arab News (Saudi Arabia)


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