Ilford business: Ilford Lane traders on the Eid trading hike
PUBLISHED: 17:37 14 August 2013
Ramadan is a time of restraint for Muslims, so it’s no surprise local businesses experience a downturn as thoughts turn away from shopping.
But when Eid approaches, people prepare to celebrate in style – and, according to traders on Ilford Lane, the number of customers through the door more than makes up for any footfall lost over the month.
“We do a good trade before Eid,” said Khalid Hassan of the South Ilford Business Association. “We cover all the money we lose in just two days.
“During Ramadan there’s a 10 or 15 per cent drop in sales because of fasting. People don’t go to restaurants.
“And they don’t tend to travel extra, or walk long distances. Ramadan in summer is one of the hardest ones because you’re sweaty and you want water – so people tend to stay in the shade.
“People don’t have a chance to shop because they don’t want to go out during the daytime.
“And they don’t eat as much because the sun sets at 9pm and there isn’t time.”
Rashid Malik, who runs RDC Clothes, said it was common for Muslims to buy new outfits and accessories to celebrate Eid.
“The most important thing is family get-togethers,” he said, “so everyone wants to buy a new outfit or get their best clothes out the wardrobe.
“Over the last two weeks, we’ve done three or four times what we would on a normal day. Towards the end of Ramadan, people are constantly shopping.
“When they announce Eid, Ilford Lane is heaving. There’s no space to walk down the pavement.”
The first night the moon is sighted is known as channd raat, and sees crowds of late night shoppers preparing for the big day.
“Eid is always like this,” added Mr Malik, “so we try and keep a range of prices.
“We concentrate more on turnover than margins.”
Arshad Khan of the Gourmet bakery and sweet shop said business picked up a lot in the days leading up to Eid.
“We sell a lot of Asian sweets, as well as things like chicken patties and cakes,” he said.
“During Eid people go to different family houses to celebrate, and they take sweets as gifts.”
Mr Hassan of the business association added jewellers and restaurants would also typically see a hike in business.
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