Textile companies reeling under COVID-19 impact

Izah Azahari

Apart from reaping blessings with various religious activities during the holy month of Ramadhan, people usually shop for fabrics to make Baju Kurung or Cara Melayu attires to celebrate the joyous occasion of upcoming Hari Raya Aidilfitri.

However, as the country is still facing the COVID-19 crisis and with all restrictions still in place, several textile businesses and tailor shops in the Sultanate are reeling under the COVID-19 impact with unusual slow sales during the festive season.

In an interview with the Bulletin, a textile shop assistant based in Gadong said the outbreak has resulted in chaos and hard times.

“Since the report of the first case in the country we haven’t seen any customers buying fabrics for Hari Raya,” she said. “It’s not as good as last year.”

Meanwhile, a shop assistant from a well-established textile mall said that they’ve only been receiving one or two customers buying fabrics for Cara Melayu, and only around six customers in March.

A shop assistant at another textile shop at The Mall said that they’ve made zero sales since last month, and admitted that it was worse than the previous year for their shop, and any of the purchases made were mainly for the ready-made robes for performing prayers.

“If you go around other textile shops will say the same about their sales,” she said. “We’ve also been actively giving discounts of up to 50 per cent and still no customers are coming.”

Rows of fabrics at a textile shop in Gadong. PHOTO: RAHWANI ZAHARI