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Afghanistan; Economic Crisis and Kabul’s Sluggish Garment Market

Following the recent political upheaval and the economic crisis that has gripped the country, the garment market has also stagnated, with clothing retailers saying their sales have fallen by up to 80 percent compared to the past.

Sayed Mortaza Mahmoodi – DID Press Agency
Translated by Sayed Taher Mojab
A number of clothing sellers in Kabul say that the sales of men’s and women’s clothing have sharply decreased and the economic crisis has reduced people’s purchasing power. According to them, people could buy more clothes before the fall of Kabul, but now they hardly buy food to eat.

“The garment market is sluggish. There are not many sales since the fall of the establishment,” said Aminullah Walizada, a clothing seller in the capital Kabul.
According to him, most of his customers were employees of former government and contractors. But now most of them have run away or cannot afford it.

“Our losses have increased during the three months. We have to pay the rent, the electric bill, and our workers’ wages. Before the fall of Kabul, about 55 men and women were employed in this clothing store. Currently, 7 out of 55 are working here,” Aminullah added.
Haroon, a shopkeeper, selling women’s clothing, also complains about the market and says that the sales of women’s clothing have decreased significantly compared to the past.
“Most of my customers were employed women who are now unemployed and have no money to buy clothes,” he said.

Hasib, another shopkeeper, says that in the past he used to sell up to 5 items a day, but now there are days when he has not sold a single item.
“I bought a shop for 10,000 dollars, but now no one buys it 1,000 dollars. The is a huge loss,” Haroon added, complaining about the situation.
These shopkeepers complained about the rising price of goods, saying that they used to buy an item for 600 Afghanis while the price of the same item has now reached 1,200 Afghanis, and people cannot afford them.

Women sellers and retailers are also complaining about the garment sales in Kabul, saying the sales have slumped badly. They say that their business is going bankrupt if they do not receive aid.
Setayesh, a female shopkeeper, says their sales are very bad because women cannot be outside late and they cannot afford to.

“Sales of pants are very low and many customers are looking to buy large skirts. In the past, girls used to come a lot and buy without any fear. Now, the ladies have to be home before it gets dark,” she added.

Roqia Sadat, a clothing seller, says that buying clothes is now a matter of necessity. People do not buy clothes unless they have to. It is not like in the past that someone purchases clothes out of enthusiasm.

This comes as people complain about the high prices of goods in the market.
“With the arrival of the Taliban, I will not buy much because my future is unknown and the prices are skyrocketed,” says Maryam Rezvani, a Kabul resident.

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