KUALA LUMPUR, July 16, 2015:

Traders along Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman are quibbling over the decline in sales as prudent consumers grow cautious over purchases in the wake of inflation and Goods and Services Tax (GST).

This, as many traders bemoaned the lack of last-minute Hari Raya shoppers, which have almost halved this year, prompting them to slash prices further to offload their abundant stocks.

Sarong seller Mohd Zahir Sufairi, 28, said he had noticed a drop in customers over the past week compared to the same period in previous years.

He said over the past seven days, he only received around 400 hundred customers, while the figure was nearly double last year.

Zahir, whose tent was the first stall situated in an alley in Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman, sells locally-produced and Indonesian sarongs at prices ranging between RM10 and RM100.

Some of the sarongs, he said, were used as “sampins” that completed the Malay traditional Baju Melayu outfits.

“I don’t know why there are less customers, but my sales have been affected compared to previous years.

“Even artistes would come over to buy our kain pelikat year in and year out, but there’s not many of them buying this year,” he told The Rakyat Post when met here today.

Zolkarnain Che Ama, 56, who sells traditional kerepek crackers and Hari Raya cookies, said he would slash his prices by half in the evening as the hour approached midnight, with the numbers of last-minute shoppers declining.

During the day, he sold five boxes of cookies for RM100, but nine boxes for the same amount would be sold to clear stock at night time, while four packets would be sold at RM 30 instead of RM10 per packet.

“Perhaps, there are not as many customers as before, but if I drop the prices, many will buy in bigger quantities at the eleventh hour,” he said, adding his products could last up to one-and-a-half months if stored properly.

Artificial floral decoration seller Masalina Mohamad, 48, did not shy away from her frustration at this year’s poor turnout at her stall.

The customers, she said, have grown more wary about their spending, opting to buy smaller amounts of items.

Masalina Mohamad says customers have grown more wary about spending, opting to buy smaller amounts of items. — TRP pic by Wan Kah Hoong
Masalina Mohamad says customers have grown more wary about spending, opting to buy smaller amounts of items. — TRP pic by Wan Kah Hoong

“So I have to improvise and offer more bouquet combinations at a largely reduced price.

“This is so far the worst year I have ever experienced in 20 years,” said Masalina, who sells the basic set of flowers between RM20 and RM 30, and bouquets ranging within hundreds of ringgits.

A shopper, Norain Saharuddin, 28, said she had left her buying spree to the last minute to benefit from the bargain prices.

Norain, an engineering plan draughtsman from Bukit Mertajam, Penang, said she had come down to Kuala Lumpur on the eve of Raya to buy over a dozen tudung (head scarf) at give away prices at a textile warehouse.

“But this year I will only have to stick with these,” she said, showing a bag load of the colourful garments that were neatly tucked away.

“This is because I now have a child in tow and am feeling the pinch of the GST and higher cost of living,” she said, adding that she had to trim down her expenses this year.

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