It was a gloomy Sunday morning for Kamal Hasan Prince. He displays jerseys of Argentina and Brazil at his makeshift shop on a busy footpath near Sonargaon Hotel in Dhaka.
“The excitement among the fans seems to have dwindled after the exit of the two teams," the 42-year-old hawker said.
Prince wanted to clear stocks and slashed the prices of each jersey by 40 percent to Tk 60. A week ago, he sold each at more than Tk 100. These T-shirts have lost their lustre.
“On Saturday morning, I sold a dozen Argentine jerseys. Demand for T-shirts of both the teams was high. Not anymore,” he said.
The slump in demand came with the exit of the two teams in a space of as many days. Bangladesh has been obsessed with the two South American nations in the World Cup (WC) tournament for decades.
Prince was lucky not to have a huge stock of jerseys to clear. But he feared that his neighbour would face difficulty.
“He sold only jerseys to cash in on the world cup. Today, he did not even open his store. I am afraid his losses will be greater than mine,” he said, who has six jerseys remaining to sell.
Fans had adorned houses and cars with colourful flags and wore jerseys and armbands to express their loyalty to their favourite teams, in hopes that they would secure the cup.
The fall of the two soccer giants also cast a shadow over the prospect of television sales in the remaining days to the final on July 11. Electronics retailers placed various promotional offers and discounts to attract buyers.
“We are a bit upset. Market sentiments will ultimately sink due to the departure of the two,” said Mohammad Zane Alam, deputy-marketing manager of Rangs Electronics, distributor of Sony televisions.
He said television retailers log a rise in sales prior to the final match, when these two teams stay on.
“So far, our sales are fine. But it may drop below expectations,” said Mahbub-ur Rahman, director of operations of Butterfly Marketing Ltd, which sells LG televisions.
The world's biggest tournament also boosted demand for projectors to view the matches on large screens in open spaces. Industry insiders said the sales of projectors would also drop.
However, companies that have promoted their products by taking advantage of the fact that thousands are hooked on to their television screens are more or less relieved that their spending was worthwhile, as the teams made their exit almost towards the end.
“I think the World Cup's impact has been quite substantial. The exit of Brazil and Argentina has come at the fag end and I don't think it will have much impact on advertising spending or its effectiveness,” said Nazim Farhan Choudhury, managing director of Adcomm Ltd.
“If Argentina and Brazil left at the beginning, there would have been a big impact, as many would have turned off their TVs,” he said.
With a few matches remaining, Choudhury said it would not have a major impact on viewership and thereby, would help advertisers fulfil their objectives.