Expensive Winter Cloths: Soaring Prices Pushes Syrians to Second-hand Clothes at Stalls
Enab Baladi Issue # 94 – Sun, Dec. 8, 2013
Due to the cold winter and severe low temperatures alongside with the high prices of clothes and the deterioration of their financial situations, Syrians found themselves resorting to second-hand shops and small stalls to buy the heavy clothes they need.
Clothes’ markets have witnessed a big rise in clothing prices that estimated at 200% compared with the last year’s rise. For instance, the price of a wool jacket has reached to 4000 Syrian pounds, while the price of a men’s jute jacket has been no less than 8000 Syrian pounds. As for the winter tops and jumpers, the prices have ranged between 3000-4500 Syrian pounds, while pajamas’ prices have ranged between 3500-7000 Syrian pounds.
According to some traders, this high expensiveness can be attributed to several reasons; most importantly is because lots of factories have stopped operating due to the security situation, or because of the high cost of raw materials used to manufacture such products, be it yarns or fabrics. Not to forget the difficulty in exporting raw materials after the sanctions imposed on different Syrian economic sectors.
With the substantial rise in the prices of winter clothing, stalls and second-hand shops have become the only recourse for so many people. That’s mainly because the stalls’ pricings are generally reasonable and so affordable, plus the products sold over there are of good quality. In fact, the goods displayed in stalls come from the shops nearby 50% lower than their original prices. The reasons behind that are due to the fact that the stalls’ owners unlike shops’ owners are not required to pay any extra fees or taxes, plus they accept less profit at the expense of selling larger quantities of clothes.
Muna, a mother of three children, considers that in spite of the high costs of winter clothes, especially children’s, most people are still able to manage those costs in the light of their financial situation. The reason according to her is that “both shops of famous brands and popular stalls and markets are available”.
She continues saying: “I usually buy my kids’clothes from the popular markets or from stalls scattered in all commercial markets”. She asserts that the quality is not that different since most products displayed in stalls, are the same displayed inthe shops, the only difference lies in the idea of “etiquette and Brand”.
It is noteworthy that the war prevailed in the country for more than two years has caused disastrous consequences on the various sectors of the national economy; the textile sector was no exception, since its losses were huge. According to the statistics, more than 331 private textile institutions have been destructed with no precise losses estimated yet. On the other hand, losses in the public textile sector have reached to 17.6 billion Syrian pounds, and they are expected to rise due to the continuing war. This indicates that clothing prices are thought to get even higher, the fact that increases Syrians’ concerns and life complications.
Translated by: Rahaf Abbar