AMMAN — The high hopes that clothing and footwear merchants placed on Ramadan and Eid Al Fitr to boost the commercial movement of the sector and compensate for the recession that the markets witnessed due to COVID-19 prevention measures have now “faded”, according to a sector representative.
The decline in the sector during Ramadan was “unprecedented due to the decision of a comprehensive and sudden lockdown taken before the Eid Al Fitr holiday for a period of three days,” Asaad Qawasmi, representative of the clothing and footwear sector in the Jordan Chamber of Commerce, told The Jordan Times.
Other than the “sudden” lockdown, Qawasmi said that the liquidity that was available to people was more focused towards the food and essential goods sector.
“The three-day lockdown changed the priorities of purchasing among citizens. Instead of buying eid clothes, they stocked up on food and essentials,” he added.
Through initial random surveys and information provided by merchants, an 80 per cent decline of sales compared with the same period last year was found by the chamber.
The repercussions that a decline during a festive season would have on the sector might “push shop owners to restructure expenditure and reduce employment in order for them to survive and continue, which is what has already happened in many countries,” said Qawasmi.
He called on the government to intervene and stop the decline by reducing sales tax and customs duties on the sector’s imports, in addition to increasing the period of time during which work is permitted in the next few weeks.
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