Bazaars feel pinch as malls attract shoppers

KUALA LUMPUR - Regular last-minute Hari Raya shoppers this year have moved away from the Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman bazaar, which is famous for its eleventh hour sales and crowds.

Housewife Fawziah Mohd Shahar, 42, shops at the last minute every year as her husband gets his Hari Raya bonus towards the end of Ramadan.

"Every year, I take my five children through the crowd in Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahaman until 4am and I have grown tired of it.

"Although we can get things at very low prices, last-minute shopping also means that we get leftovers."

This year, she took her family to shop for new outfits, household needs and decorations at a shopping mall in Kajang, which also has last-minute offers.

"My husband got his baju Melayu for RM100 from the original price of RM130," she said, adding that shoppers could find better choices and quality materials in shopping malls.

Unlike previous years, businesswoman Zarina Abdul, 45, decided to skip the bazaar this time around as experience had shown that she could not find the right sizes for the family. Her choice would be shopping malls as they had interesting offers for last-minute shoppers.

This change of by shoppers caused traders to feel the pinch.

Puteri Nabilah Abdullah, 55, has been selling Hari Raya clothes at the bazaar for more than 20 years but this year was the worst.

"I've slashed the prices so much but am still not making many sales," she said, adding that this had dampened her Hari Raya spirit.

She said the reason was that shoppers were heading for the shopping malls, which had great offers that matched those of bazaar stalls.

However, she intends to persevere by keeping her stall open until this morning.

Cookies and cakes trader Yusnida Mohd Yunus, 33, said the drop in sales was because this year's school holidays started earlier. "I think many people took leave as soon as the school holidays started and have gone back to their hometowns."