The fasting period of Ramadan is coming to an end, and with Eid al-Fitr just around the corner, businesses across the region are preparing for the shopping spree that often accompanies the holiday.
During Eid, millions of residents make considerable purchases at malls, restaurants, and online to celebrate the end of the fasting period. According to research from last year, experts are expecting overall consumer spending to increase by as much as 30 per cent through the Eid holiday.
This week we’re going to be looking at why Eid has become such a prominent time for shopping and highlight a few industries that are likely to experience the biggest bump.
Spending During Eid
It may come as a surprise to learn that consumer spending generally increases throughout the whole month of Ramadan. With that said, there is no doubt that it culminates during the Eid al-Fitr holiday. During this time spending increases are observed on food, consumer products, gifts, and travel.
Across the GCC and other Arab countries many retail outlets save their best sales for the 2-day holiday and are expecting to extend their shopping hours to account for the increased traffic instore. Many local restaurants and hotels are also looking to bring in customers with attractive packages and 2 for 1 deals.
Experts expect a significant increase at food and beverage outlets, but the biggest increases are expected in clothing spending and travel. Even with such a large portion of the region travelling, overall businesses are expecting a mini spending spree during Eid.
Why Clothing and Travel?
To understand why the Clothing and Travel industries tend to see such large spending increases during Eid al-Fitr, it’s important to consider two things; First is what Eid means for the Muslim population and second is the current weather in the region.
As Eid approaches every year, many Muslims look forward to purchasing new clothes for their Eid celebrations. In Islam, it is common practice to buy new clothes for Eid because it is a Sunnah (tradition) of the Prophet to wear something new during the holy feast.
This endorsement means that many people shed the guilt of buying a new outfit and the clothing industry is there to support them. Stores will often combine tradition with some of the best sales of the season to hit the perfect mix of incentive.
Travel is another industry that sees a considerable increase during Eid, however it is not for the same reason as clothing. The boom in travel is more related to the time off work and the hot summer weather. This year, Eid also matches closely with the end of the school year creating three very large incentives for travel.
A spokesman from dnata, say that they expect the peak period of travel will begin on Sunday, June 18, and run all summer through to Tuesday, August 15th.
Are you ready for the Eid spending spike? Will your family be spending on clothes and travel this year? Let us know in the comments below or reach out to us on Twitter. And if you’re looking for something more to read, why not check out our last entrepreneur of the month post. It offers great insight about what it takes to survive as a business in the Arab world.