Despite the clothing sector’s “slow revival”, it has still not reached pre-pandemic levels, according to Asad Qawasmeh, the clothing, footwear and jewellry sector representative at the Amman Chamber of Commerce (ACC).

“Purchasing power is much better than the previous two years,” Qawasmi told The Jordan Times.

Qawasmi added that the timing of the Eid Al Fitr, the feast marking the end of the fasting month of Ramadan, and Easter came exactly at the end of the month, which coincides with employees receiving their salaries as and the postponement of loan payment, which has helped keep the cash flow going.

However, he noted, the “cash flow in the marketplace remains lower than pre-COVID years”.

He added that the sector is “very optimistic” for the upcoming week, expressing hope that the demand will increase during the last couple of days before the Eid holiday.

As for clothing prices, Qawasmi highlighted that they are “stable” and have not increased due to the global increase in shipping prices.

“The reduction in customs tariffs has helped maintain the current prices,” he said.

Economist Khaled Salameh said that retailers are urged to think “outside the box”. He encouraged retailers to stimulate demand “by creating more offers and investing in good websites where buyers can shop because the market moving towards online shopping”.

“Retailers who do not follow the trends will be left behind,” Salameh noted.

Salameh added that the clothing and textiles industry continues to be a major employer, as well as a significant contributor to Jordan’s exports.

“It is a labour-intensive sector,” Salameh said, adding that the sector employs thousands of people, therefore, contributes “big time” to the economy.

Meanwhile, second-hand clothing sales are growing, notably Instagram and Facebook pages, said a founder of an Instagram page who preferred to remain anonymous.

She added that while much of the traditional retail sector is “struggling”, the sales of secondhand merchandise from online resale platforms like Instagram and Facebook are growing.

“People are more aware of the advantages of secondhand shopping,” she added.

She added that online shopping also saves time because buyers “are not troubled by road congestion, especially during Ramadan’s traffic”.

The Kingdom’s imports of clothing and footwear increased by 28 per cent and 47 per cent, respectively, in the first quarter of 2022, compared with the first quarter of 2021, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

The value of clothing received in the kingdom during the first quarter of this year was JD57 million, compared with JD45 million and JD42 million for the same period of the last two years in a row, Petra reported.

 

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