Huge Eid merchandise stack up in godown Traders in jeopardy

23 April 2021

Al Amin :
Micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and small businesses have hardest hit by rescinding orders and disrupted supply chains due to the ongoing countrywide lockdown enforced to contain the surge of coronavirus cases and deaths in the country.
Insiders said small factories, which use to produce garments, shoes, furniture and electronic products, garment manufacturers, are reeling from the damage caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
"We suffered from collapse in demand of our products amid restrictions and lockdowns. We are facing difficulties to sell our products due to closure of retail outlets science April 13. This has led to stockpiling of goods at warehouses" said Kamruzzaman Kamal, Marketing Director of the PRAN-RFL Group.
"Even fast moving consumer goods are being shipped at an almost half volume from the PRAN-RFL factories since even the grocery shops are being closed," he added.
Amid the surge in infection of Covid-19, the government imposed lockdown allowing all the factories open, regardless their status as exporters or local market manufacturers.
But, the factories which sell their products to the local market are facing difficulties as the shuttered retail outlets.
Factories owned by big corporate can afford partial production as they have stronger finance, supply chain and also bigger warehouses.
But the small and medium factories, which tend to struggle more during adversity, mostly halted their production and eagerly are waiting for the much needed reopening of malls and shops.
From construction material to furniture, electronics, automobiles and attire products, everything is facing the shipment and production drop.
The production of men, women and children wares, shoes, which are in high demand ahead of the Eid-ul-Ftr, cannot be marketed as the shopping malls and shops are remain closed across the country.
Over three thousand large and medium scale textile mills and thousands of small and medium enterprises (SME) employ several lakhs of workers to cater to the local market demand. Several entrepreneurs and traders said since the retailers are not ordering enough or at all, most of the manufacturers have already cut production amid the lockdown to avert stockpiling and keep their working capital as much as free.
The similar picture observed in footwear industry too. Almost all of the 500 manufacturing companies halted production, while thousands of SME manufacturers across the country are sitting idle due to having no shipment.
Furniture and home appliances industry which caters to the almost entire local market demand is in a same situation where no retail outlet is open.
Carpenters at small and medium factories laid their tools off, and large factories, especially brands are partially operating with a hope for normalcy sooner, according to Selim H Rahman, President of Bangladesh Furniture Industry Owners Association.
Around 80,000 small furniture factories, depend on their adjacent shops, are already closed, said Selim, also the owner of Hatil Furniture.
Abul Kasem Khan, Chairperson of the Trustee Board of Business Initiative Leading Development (BUILD), told The New Nation, "The government should find way to build up purchasing capacity among the consumers. Otherwise, it will be very difficult for the domestic manufacturers to survive amid the lockdown."

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