COVID impacts second-hand clothes business

ISLAMABAD: The increase in prices due to the overall inflation, reduced movement of people during the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic and a fear of catching virus from the used clothes have badly impacted the business of second hand clothes in the city along with changing the life styles of the citizens. 

Second hand clothes which were considered as the most selling items at the advent of the winter season have become out of reach for the common citizens owing to the increasing prices of each and every commodity and their reduced purchasing power.

While the COVID related factors including buyers’ reluctance to visit Landa Bazars as a precaution to avoid rush and not buying second hand clothes for their children due to fear of catching virus were also hindering good sales.

Shaukat Ali, who is a vendor at a stall of second hand clothes at Sunday Market, said the customers for used clothes have been reduced up to 50 percent this winter season as compared to the last year due to the COVID.

Majority of the customers complains that the COVID has affected their businesses and limited their purchasing power in the present price hike situation in the country. The customers even bargain while purchasing a single sweater which cost only Rs 100, he said while talking to APP.

Israr, a vendor at ladies sweaters’ stall said actually the customers are not visiting the second hand clothes market due to the fear of COVID despite strict implementation of COVID Standard Operating Procedures (SoPs) by the Capital Development Authority.

He said that the decrease in customers up to 60 percent this year has affected their business. “Our regular customers are from Islamabad and Rawalpindi and they are not visiting the market”.

Many of the customers seems to be hesitant of buying used things considering these clothes will affect them with the virus as these clothes come from other countries which are more affected. While others buy these with an intention to first wash these with antiseptics before using.

Sayed Ghulam, who is a second hand shoes retailer, said customers of second hand clothes and shoes were reduced to a large extent due to the sense of fear prevailing among most buyers amid COVID as well as less purchasing capacity due to exorbitant prices.

He said every customer try to bargain and many of them don’t come back when refused concession. - APP !