Malls in Oman expecting more customers towards end of Ramadan

Home & Away Monday 13/June/2016 22:17 PM
By: Times News Service
Malls in Oman expecting more customers towards end of Ramadan

Muscat: Malls are expecting increased foot traffic as the first week of Ramadan ends and are looking forward to the coming weeks to boost their sales.
Earlier, Muscat’s mall managers said they expect 80 per cent jump in sales during Ramadan but since the holy month started things are off to a slow start.
“The first week is very slow; people are still getting in the mood of fasting. There is not much happening during the first week,” said Aruna Tavarkhed, deputy manager at the Panorama Mall.
“It picks up from the second and third week and the fourth week is the highest,” she added.
Avenues Mall’s Manager, Ben Watson, also said that during the first few weeks, visitors are fewer than towards the end of the month.
“For me, one indicator is foot traffic; so during the first one or two weeks of Ramadan the traffic is a little bit less and then during the last two weeks of Ramadan and Eid, the traffic is very high,” said Watson.
As people prepare for Eid-Al-Fitr celebrations, the managers expect a high number of visitors and sales to go up towards the end of the month, particularly during the last week before Ramadan ends and during Eid celebrations.
Jasmine Edward Nother, senior operations manager, Vivid Superdry - Desigual, a fashion store, said the first week of Ramadan is slow, but it picks up as the month progresses.
“When Ramadan begins, towards the beginning of the week people tend to adjust into the (routine of) fasting; so usually sales are very low during the morning, but they gradually pick up during the evening,” said Nother, adding that customers and sales do not increase before the fifth or sixth day of Ramadan.
When asked whether sales go up towards the end of Ramadan, she said, “They do. I don’t know about this year because Omanis have been very conservative with their purchases. If we compare with last year, we will tell you yes, that would normally happen.”
She added that the current economic situation in the Sultanate is also a contributing factor to the reasons why people are not spending as usual.
Frequently bought
Tavarkhed said fashion items, beauty products and bukhoor (frankincense) are the most frequently bought items during the Holy Month. “The food joints after Iftar really come alive and they do quite well,” said Tavarkhed, explaining that food outlets in the mall are successful.
Watson said, “During Ramadan, you’ll find our food and beverage outlets doing quite well because of the Iftar menus and all kind of things... whereas the standard apparel brands and all of those guys will certainly benefit from the later parts of Ramadan and Eid.”
When asked about Ramadan spending in comparison with other months, Watson noted, “Sometimes during Ramadan, spending is high and certainly during Eid spending is very high; so if you put the two together, spending is higher than usual.”