Discounts across the market

Retailers are preparing for a difficult time during and after Easter as March has already seen a decline in demand for apparel products reaching an average of 30 percent year-on-year. Shopkeepers are resorting to all possible methods of promoting their goods as the market appears to remain frozen, with retailers estimating a dip in turnover of more than 20 percent this Easter compared with last year. Although this is not an official sales period, one can find discounts of up to 60 percent on clothing or housing goods and up to 50 percent on cosmetics. Hundreds of retail firms have announced they have absorbed the recent value-added tax hike, to convince consumers to choose them over others. Traders estimate that in 2009 some 10,000 commercial enterprises were forced to close.