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Eid Shoppers Buy More At Non-Muslim Businesses

Over the last couple of weeks leading up to Eid-mas (today!) I've been on the lookout for businesses and stores making efforts to tap ...

Over the last couple of weeks leading up to Eid-mas (today!) I've been on the lookout for businesses and stores making efforts to tap into the halal-market. Like anyone else, Eid consumers shop for bargains but place quality over quantity.

Pictured above: a successful Pakistani store sets up their 'Jalebi' and sweets stall in the street. Come iftar time, they will make fresh sweets with a fragrance that carries across the wind. Even policeman have been known to queue up for a batch!

When Muslims give gifts at Eid, especially here in Britain, it's rarely about the size or cost. It's truly about making everyone happy and sharing in what is otherwise a sad farewell to a beloved month of improved character.

On the eve to Eid-mas day my hometown flooded with customers doing last minute shopping. The banks HSBC and Santander hung Eid related posters and many of their employees said 'Ramadan Mubarak' and asked about how fasting was going. I don't know if they received training for this but good on them!

The British department store BANK displayed an Arabic 'Eid Mubarak' window display for their Muslim customers, which was very thoughtful. It didn't make me walk right in to buy an Eidy present but I really appreciated the gesture.

I was lured into the chocolate aisle of Asda though. They displayed Eid Mubarak banners near the entrance, with various food items that they must have researched as being popular with the Muslim consumers. Bags of 'Atta' flour (for making roti), chocolate offers and wrapped gifts were all gathered in a special aisle just for me!

For specific food items I think most of us in the Muslim community know which variety of shops stock them. For example, although Asda has a 'World Foods' aisle, their Tilda rice, syrups and Caribbean food is more expensive than the local ethnic grocery shop. We will therefore do our general Eid food shopping from Asda or Sainsbury's and then make a run to an Asian supermarket for the extras.

A lovely girl at New Look asked about how my fasting was going and which day I would celebrate Eid-mas. Offers and sales made on these days will target this shopaholic demographic who want products efficiently and at affordable prices. Many many young Muslims were in New Look and it felt like a Moroccan bazaar, with so many people trying to match their shoes to their Eid clothes at home. I bought a pair too which was my Eid gift from my aunt. - Shukran, thanks Nisa!

Closer to home a local mosque made efforts to welcome non-Muslims in the neighbourhood. Greater efforts are being made in my community's mosques now, such as bicycle stands, raising awareness about water management and recycling a majority of their waste.

All in all, I found my "research" insightful for knowing how non-Muslim businesses cater to Muslim consumers. It needs a little more than banners and fancy display though. The best marketing strategies are to pinpoint what the Muslim community tends to buy and to point them in that direction.

Eid Mubarak eco-fans,
Zaufishan (:

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