KUALA LUMPUR: With the economic factor being the prime concern of many shoppers, bargain hunters are being frugal this Hari Raya Aidilfitri by shopping at the last minute, when prices hit rock-bottom.

Shopping at the end of the fasting month ensured good discounts and a wise move considering the high cost of living currently, said housewife Nurul Aini Murad, 30.

“My Hari Raya this year is so meaningful because we have two small children aged two and three.

“I waited until the last minute to buy Hari Raya clothes for myself, my husband and our children because I knew there would be an even better sale.

“My husband, who is in the armed forces, took the day off from work today so he could take us to the mall, where there are a lot of affordable options,” she said when met yesterday at a popular shopping district here.

While property consultant Abdul Ghafar Zakaria, 60, admitted that the Hari Raya celebrations would be less lively than last year, he still wanted to ensure that his family dons new clothes on the day.

“I think the economic factor is the reason why the celebrations this year is not as lively as last year.

Getting ready for Raya: Mohd Firdaus Asyraf Abdul Rahman, nine, (front) and his cousin Shahrom Fikri Abdullah, eight, busy choosing their new shoes at a supermarket in Pekan. — Bernama

Getting ready for Raya: Mohd Firdaus Asyraf Abdul Rahman, nine, (front) and his cousin Shahrom Fikri Abdullah, eight, busy choosing their new shoes at a supermarket in Pekan. — Bernama

“I have already bought new clothes but I still wanted to check out the last-minute bargains available here. I’ve never missed shopping at this mall for Hari Raya,” said Abdul Ghafar.

Landscape architect Nor Diana Sayuti, 35, was also among those who decided to shop at the last minute to ensure that she snapped up the best discounts.

“There is a lot of momentum of last minute sales now. I’m working full time so I decided to use my lunch break to do some shopping for myself.

“Shopping last minute helps me to save because there are a lot of discounts. Although the economy is not that encouraging, we can work it out as long as we stay within the budget,” she said.

Meanwhile, at another mall in an upscale neighbourhood, traders lamented the slow sales throughout the fasting month this year.

Salesperson Nuren Rauyani, 20, said that the sale figures for Hari Raya this year were vastly different from last year’s.

“The number of customers have dropped by more than 50%. Usually, a week before Hari Raya, the sales would pick up but not this year.

“Last year, we could make RM9,000 per day but this time, sometimes we can’t even get RM1,000,” she said.

Nuren said the economy was the biggest factor why many customers were shying away from spending on new clothes for Hari Raya.

“It’s not just my shop, even other traders at other malls and bazaars are saying the same thing. The people are not spending and sales are down,” she said.

Trader Izzah Aiman, 21, also said sales were slower this year and that many other traders complained the same thing.

“Last year was very good. We could make RM100,000 per month. This year it’s slower because the economy is not so good.

“Usually we would have reached that number a week before Hari Raya. There are still a few days left so we’ll see if we can hit that number,” she said.