|Home | Issues | The Daily Star Home | Volume 3, Issue 15, Tuesday November 15, 2005|
Singapore market losing its flavour
THE city's biggest souvenir arcade located adjacent to the New Market is currently witnessing a slump in its sales thanks to the growth of similar malls and the deteriorating situation in terms of law, order and economy in the recent years. This market, also known as the Singapore market, offers a wide range of imported products and a few local products.
The items that are offered in these shops are crockery, cutlery, electrical appliances and utensils. The imported items from Thailand, India, China, France, Italy and Germany, are bought from wholesalers in Nawabpur, Chawkbazar, Baitul Mukarrum and the Stadium. Customers choose a product according to type and quality regardless of whether it is local or imported and the level of prices depend on bargaining between shopkeepers and customers, added the shopkeepers.
“Sales are very bad,” said Alamin, a salesperson, “The fact is there are now more markets than customers.” Referring to customers' preferences, he said that it depends on the type of product. “If a microwave is locally made, most customers would not prefer it, thinking it would be of bad quality,” he added.
Rajib, another salesperson of a crockery store, said that sales are less without being able to specify the reason but he added that imported crockery are comparatively cheaper than local ones. “Imported crockery have bad quality and bad finishing so customers prefer local ones,” he could not particularly say why but he denied that the imported items were rejects.
“We cannot make good sales because of hartals,” said Alim, a salesperson from a store that deals in local and imported crockery. “ Customers would prefer anything whether it is local or imported but if there is a hartal, they don't venture out and we keep our shops shut,” said Mintu, his fellow salesperson.
Mohammad Jalil, owner of a crockery store also emphasised thar sales are very bad and attributed it to the deteriorating law and order situation combined with the bad economic situation. “I used to have a lot of customers from Netrakona and other districts but they don't come as much as before both because of security and financial reasons,” he said.
“Prices of many necessities have increased and there are more taxes and VATs on various items so we are forced to offer higher prices,” said Shah Alam, another owner, “Hartals deteriorate our sales even further.”
Liton, a salesperson from Babul Enterprise added, “Customers have limited money to spend but they have a lot of markets to go as a result this market is facing low turnout of customers .”
Pointers on pointy matters
LASER pointers are mainly used as aids in presentations for schools and businesses. But these are also sold as toys. These days a pointer can be bought for as little as a 100 taka. These can be a lot of fun especially when used at night around unwary people who usually become quite flustered. It's great for pranks but unfortunately in the hands of children it can be quite dangerous. A laser pointer emits an intensely concentrated beam of light that is so bright that it can burn the retina when pointed at the eye. This could lead to impaired vision or even blindness. Unfortunately most people do not know about this.
Take a few precautionary steps in avoiding this danger. Inform the children or any other user about the risks and do not let a minor use a pointer unsupervised. They just might feel like checking out what the source of the light is. Also never shine the pointer at anyone or at reflective surfaces like mirrors that might reflect the beam into someone's eyes.
By Ehsanur Raza Ronny
By Quazi Zulquarnain Islam
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