Simpler designs on comfortable materials and within reasonable price ranges, customers at Aarong look forward to a no fuss Eid. However, maintaining social distance while shopping remains a difficult task
Covered in masks, gloves and even PPEs, a long line of people are standing on orange circles drawn on the footpath near Asad Avenue to maintain safe distance.
From a distance, it looks like a queue that usually forms outside a bank or perhaps a hospital.
But these are actually customers waiting to enter Aarong's Lalmatia branch. A similar scene was also seen at Aarong's outlet in Dhanmondi-1.
As soon as customers are approaching the entrance, security staff is checking their documents.
If they can show proof of online registration, they will let the customers in to the second phase of checking their body temperature.
Finally, customers will get to sanitise themselves and then they will get the chance to start shopping.
After remaining closed for a long time, Aarong, one of the country's largest lifestyle retailers, reopened its 14 outlets from May 10. The outlets are open from 10am to 4pm every day.
As soon as they reopened, customers have been flocking there to shop for the upcoming Eid-ul-Fitr.
One of the customers, Tuhin Sarwar, a businessman, was standing outside and patiently awaiting his turn.
He is here because of his two young children, both of whom wanted new clothes for Eid.
"The fact that this year Eid will take place during shutdown was already hard on my children. So, when I saw that Aarong has introduced online booking system for shopping, I thought coming here would be safe. New clothes for Eid might make them feel better about the ongoing situation," he said.
Keeping a warm summer Eid in mind, use of Aarong's signature stitches and motifs on bright as well as pastel shades on materials like cotton, linen, silk and viscose was noticeable in the collection.
Tops and kurtas by Taaga women are loose-fitting and have geometric and floral patterns on them. A lot of blues, greens and purples were also seen here.
But compared to other festive collections, this year, designs were simple and more suitable for a stay at home Eid.
The price of casual wear salwar kameezes starts from Tk2500 and goes upto Tk5000, whereas a little classy ones starts from Tk3000 and go upto Tk10,000.
Although there were new collections of footwear on display, customers did not seem too interested in buying them.
One of the staffs said "Probably people are not buying shoes as they cannot try them out." Yet another safety measure.
The larger crowds were seen at the children's sections, probably because Eid is really about children celebrating it in new clothes.
The men's section had a thinner crowd, customers here were looking for comfortable panjabis.
The panjabi collection used more sophisticated and lighter colours. Average price of the clothes fluctuates between Tk 2500 and 3500, depending on fabric and design.
The security in charge of the children's sector was having a busy time. He repeatedly asked people to maintain social distancing.
Preferring anonymity, one of the sales associate said, "Though we have requested customers not to bring their children, many of them bring them here. While shopping, some of the customers do not maintain social distancing. But they are customers after all, we cannot be too strict with them."
On a similar note, an elderly customer shared that he had come to Aarong considering it to be safer than other places. However, he regrets his decision as some customers are failing to maintain social distancing.