Mostafizur Rahman, left, working at Deshal on Bailey Road. The BBA student has been hired for 40 days. He earns Tk 200 a day, apart from payment for working extra hours and transport allowance. Photo: Star
Retailers see Ramadan as the highest spending season of the year and so hire additional salespersons to cope with the Eid rush.
For example, Menz Club that sells shirts, pants, T-shirts, belts and ties runs its outlet at Navana Bailey Star shopping centre in the capital's Bailey Road with four staff throughout the year. But at the beginning of the holy month, it employed four part-timers to handle Eid shoppers, said outlet manager Mohammad Manik.
"We have recruited them for a month. They are all students," he told The Daily Star.
One among them is Abdullah Al-Fahad. This is the fourth consecutive year he is working at the outlet as a part-timer and he has worked for Menz Club during Ramadan for six years.
The part-timers will work until the Shawal moon is sighted when owners of the city's thousands of shops pay off salaries and dues to both full-time and part-time employees.
The temporary job will fetch Tk 18,000, a good sum, for Fahad. But it has a cost, as part-timers like him have to work for at least 12 hours a day.
In the vicinity of the shopping centre, Deshal, a renowned boutique brand, has hired 12 part-timers; Apex, the leading local footwear brand, five; Artisti, a fashion retailer, four; and Texmart, another fashion retailer, has employed five additional people as they all expect a rush of shoppers.
Mostafizur Rahman has been employed by Deshal for 40 days. The BBA student earns Tk 200 a day, apart from payment for working extra hours and transport allowance.
"The month gives students like me an opportunity to earn some money," said the 20-year old, who lives with parents at Rajarbagh in the capital, and gives tuition during the rest of the year for pocket money.
Fashion houses, among other retailers, create the majority of part-time jobs during Ramadan.
Outlet managers say they always recruit additional workforce during Ramadan, as the sales normally soar ahead of the Eid celebration to four to five times the usual sale.
Infinity mega mall, which has 50 outlets across the country, has appointed some 350 young people, mostly students, to deal with the Eid rush, said Ferdous Faisal Ahmed, human resources manager of Lubnan Trade Consortium that owns the brand along with Lubnan and Richman.
The company maintains a list of part-timers who are called in before Ramadan every year. "More than 85 percent of them have been working with us [during Ramadan] for the last three years," Ferdous said.
Depending on experience, the part-timers earn between Tk 350 and Tk 500 a day.
Rahman of Deshal, who got the job through a friend working at the same shop, said he would spend a part of his payment for his Eid shopping and give some cash to his parents.
However, Abdullah Al-Fahad who is working at a Menz Club outlet said he and his four friends were working temporarily to gain some experience before entering the job market, as all of them were studying master's in marketing at Mohammadpur Central College in the capital.
"The money will definitely help, but it is the experience that matters most to all of us," said Fahad, who lives in a rented apartment in Dhanmondi.
Through developing early knowledge of working, part-timers are more likely to find good employment and earn more money in future, according to a recent study by the University of British Columbia, Canada.
There is no estimate of the number of people working as part-timers in the country.
At present, the country has around 4,500 fashion houses that sell locally produced goods, according to the Fashion Entrepreneurs Association of Bangladesh.