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How Ramadan and Eid have become big business for retailers

June 16, 2017 5:01 PM
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How Ramadan and Eid have become big business for retailers

In the UK, three million Muslims will mark the end of the Islamic holy month with the Eid celebration on June 26 this year.

With Muslims around the world getting ready to celebrate the end of Ramadan in just over a week, many of the UK’s retailers are bracing for a surge in sales.

In the UK, three million Muslims will mark the end of the Islamic holy month with Eid al-Fitr celebrations due to take place on June 26 this year.

In Manchester, the intu Trafford Centre is preparing for this year’s Eid celebrations.

The shopping destination is expecting thousands of festive shoppers between 23-25 June, as part of the Eid al-Fitr.

The centre is hosting three days’ worth of entertainment to mark the festival, including music, dancing, film and henna art.

Retailers including Selfridges, John Lewis, Radley, Molton Brown and Boux Avenue are hosting special events and offers, while Hotel Chocolat, Molton Brown and Dune have produced bespoke Eid ranges specifically for the weekend.

Debenhams is running beauty masterclasses at Urban Decay, Make Up Forever, YSL, Too Faced, Chanel and Dior concessions, focusing on a variety of makeup looks for Eid.

The sound of Bollywood harps will be heard in the main dome from 6pm on Friday, while sitar players, tabla drummers and lively Bhangra dancers will be creating a festive atmosphere through the malls on Saturday and Sunday from 12pm.

Richard Paxton, general manager at intu Trafford Centre, said: “Eid is always a such a wonderful family celebration at intu Trafford Centre, with plenty of festivities such as dancing, music, henna artists and more. It’s one of the centre’s busiest weekends of the year and the atmosphere is just fantastic.

“We’re a popular destination with shoppers seeking new fashions, meals with their families and a wide range of traditional gifts.

“It’s wonderful to honour this celebration, we believe that we are the only shopping and leisure centre, with a unique product featuring beautiful, contemporary Islamic art and such an array of entertainment.”

In Asda shoppers can now buy Eid gift sets which have been launched across selected branches.

The range has been created by award winning Salma Chaudhry whose halal cosmetic collection is also stored in Asda.

“At Asda we know how important Eid is for the little ones, that’s why this year we are providing great deals on their favourite dishes, chocolates and toys under one roof so that you make this festive day even more joyous for them,” a spokesman said.

The period in the run up to Eid has also been a busy time for the supermarkets with Ramadan becoming an increasingly important and lucrative time for many.

Eleanor Parr, retail analyst for GlobalData Ramadan, said Ramadan and Eid is now been seen by some as becoming the third-biggest religious festival after Christmas and Easter, while the expression the ‘Ramadan Rush’ has also been coined in reference to spending by Muslim customers before, during and after Ramadan.

“With the UK’s Muslim population growing – it has increased by about 4 per cent annually since 2011, and now stands at three million – there are huge opportunities for retailers to capitalise on spend from this demographic," she says.

To put this into perspective, this year Tesco has had over 200 products available during Ramadan, with it advertising the occasion in 300 of its stores.

Sales of important festive items such as chappati flour, dates and Saka water have all been on promotion.

Eleanor says: “For the Big Four grocers, strong ranges for religious events represents an effective way to combat the discounters such as Aldi and Lidl, with their stores typically only stocking a very limited product selection.

“Retailers must leverage their respective store formats – convenience store product ranges can be tailored depending on the ethnic makeup of the area, while bigger stores can display the full range.

“Those with 24 hour opening hours can also be particularly appealing to those Muslim shoppers looking to buy their groceries after spending the day fasting in the evening.

"Retailers that collect data on their customers – either from a loyalty program or online orders – could also use this for targeted marketing to more ethnically diverse areas.”

She added: “A major opportunity for non-grocery retailers comes from Eid, the celebration that marks the end of Ramadan.

"There have been suggestions that in the Muslim community, Eid is becoming equivalent to Christmas, with gift-giving a huge part of the celebratory occasion.

“The so-called ‘Muslim pound’ continues to grow in strength, and in the period leading up to Ramadan, and during Eid, Muslim consumers flock to the shops.

“While much news reporting has focused on the demand for luxury goods at the likes of Harrods, this demand also cover high-street fashion players.

“To win Eid spend, retailers must look to offer a broad gifting range, but if they aren’t destination for gifting itself, perhaps stock ranges of gift wrap and accessories to appeal to Muslim shoppers.

“The last few days of Ramadan ahead of Eid is also the period that sees the highest number of Muslim visitors from across the Gulf countries (such as Saudi Arabia and the UAE), presenting another pool of consumers willing to spend at UK shops.”

Source: manchestereveningnews.co.uk

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