Surge in shopping activity as Ramadan is around the corner

May 01, 2019
Irfan Mohammed

Saudi Gazette

As the holy month is just around the corner, Jeddah and rest of the Kingdom have been witnessing hectic activity of shopping.

The first week of salaries is also contributing to increase the footfall of customers in the markets and shopping malls.

Many people are taking advantage of ongoing offers by prominent retailers especially in the food sector as they are shopping for much-needed grocery items to prepare the iftar fast-breaking meal. Many are also hunting for the perfect gifts for their loved ones on the occasion.

Dates, laban, meat and health tonics like Vimto are the products in most demand during the holy month. Like every year, prices of widely consumed items fluctuate heavily during the month.

The sale of essential food items for Ramadan has surged two times more than the rest of the months, said the sales manager of a leading supermarket group.

“The demand increases significantly in the week prior to the start of the holy month, as customers fear the merchants may manipulate prices and the heavy traffic once Ramadan begins. So they rush to buy and stock up their pantries,” he explained.

However, he emphasized that prices are very low as the manufacturers compete among themselves by applying special seasonal discounts on most of food items.

However, the price of meat whether local breeds or imported ones surged by about 30 percent. Rice and sugar prices remain stable, and in some cases the prices dropped compared to last year.

The roads leading to popular markets and shopping malls are already jammed during the evening. To avoid the expected heavy rush in the coming days, many families are doing their shopping in advance.

Traffic police have already begun implementing traffic control plans in major market areas. There are restrictions on vehicular movement in some of major crowded areas.

The inspection teams from Ministry of Commerce have been making rounds various markets to check on the authenticity of publicized discount sales and also price manipulations.

The Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA), the Ministry of Commerce and Investment and the local municipalities have intensified their inspections on firms that supply and store food items.

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