Ramadan grocery price hike irks Jeddawis

Shoppers in Jeddah are concerned about the rising prices of commodities, particularly food items ahead of the holy month of Ramadan and criticized the annual pre-Ramadan phenomenon of price hikes.

They complained about the nearly 40 percent increase in prices saying that shop owners take advantage of people’s needs for Ramadan on products such as rice, pastries, meat and chicken, as well as drinks.

Arshad Abdel Moez told Arab News that he prepares early for the Ramadan fever but the prices are still high.

In response, the Trade and Industry Ministry has stepped up efforts to monitor the prices of Ramadan-related products to thwart manipulation. This came following information received by the ministry about 40 percent inflation on food items. It is common for Jeddah shoppers to peak their purchase levels prior to Ramadan triggering a price rise.

However, the ministry confirmed that it’s taking the best measures to protect consumers. Retail centers with Ramadan-related products have started selling their products according to a plan meant for those who wish to prepare well in advance of the holy month.

Basem Khalil, head of a commercial center in Jeddah, said that selling Ramadan items early in the season aims to satisfy clients and use up the quantities of products bought in the past two months.

He added that the rush of customers has led the centers to suffer from real accounting problems caused by the lack of time and customers’ pressure.





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