Salah Uddin, a salesman at a Bata showroom, said sales have decreased by 90 percent compared to those in the previous years
The markets and shopping malls in the capital – that reopened on May 10 amid fears of further Covid-19 transmission – have witnessed a low turnout of buyers on the first two days.
"With a little income, it will be difficult to pay salaries to my employees. Moreover, there are some other costs to keep a shop open," said Rabin Molla, owner of a clothing shop in Malibag area.
"Now, I am rethinking whether to keep my shop open or not," he added.
Khalil, an apparel vendor in Khilgaon, said, "We had to reopen shops because Eid is ahead and we have to pay salaries and bonuses to employees."
"We have families but no income for the last two months. Otherwise, no one would come to open shops taking risks," he added.
Alamin, a shoe vendor in the city's Elephant Road, said, "Salary-bonus can be given if we can sell something at this time."
"Although there is a poor presence of buyers right now, I hope the number of buyers will increase in the coming days," he added.
Apart from the markets, roadside showrooms of different brands including Apex, Bata and Plus Point have reopened. They were also witnessing a very low presence of buyers.
Salah Uddin, a salesman at a Bata showroom, said sales have decreased by 90 percent compared to those in the previous years.
People, who are in a dire need of shoes, have come only, he added.
Tuhin Alam, a service holder, said, "I have come to buy a pair of shoes as my shoes tore apart 15 days ago."
Customers are coming to shops mainly to buy dresses for their little ones.
Nasir Uddin came to Malibag with his two minor sons to buy pants and shirts for them.
He said, "Actually, children are not mindful enough to understand the situation."
When asked about health safety, he said, "We have not roamed so many shops. We visited two and have bought what we needed."
Another customer Azom said, "I will buy clothes for my little kids."
Shopping malls were seen setting up disinfectant tunnels, deploying thermal scanners and arranging hand sanitisers to ensure proper health safety measures.
Ashik, a vendor in the Suvastu shopping mall of the Elephant Road, said, "I have reopened this shop after about a month and a half. Yesterday, [Monday] my sales were only Tk1500."
Helal Uddin, president of Bangladesh Shop Owners Association, said, "We asked the shops and market authorities to close immediately if they cannot follow the social distancing norms and hygiene rules.
"We are at the highest health risk right now, so it should not be ignored in any way."
So far, disinfectants are being sprayed in the markets. The shoppers are also aware of and follow the hygiene rules.