Langa mar­ket still hot

Both rich and poor fa­vor se­cond-hand

The Kurdish Globe - - NEWS -

De­spite the fact that the liv­ing stan­dards of the peo­ple of the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion have im­proved a lot since the 1990s, and that the re­gion’s econ­omy has wit­nessed sig­nif­i­cant growth, Er­bil’s se­cond-hand (langa) mar­ket is still a fa­vorite shop­ping des­ti­na­tion for many peo­ple.

Peo­ple on low in­comes choose the mar­ket for its prices, while wealthy peo­ple go there for the high-qual­ity goods that are avail­able on oc­ca­sions in the mar­ket.

Langa’s shop own­ers ar­gue that more rich peo­ple visit the mar­ket than poor peo­ple.

In re­cent years, the mar­kets of the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion have been flooded with cheap Chi­nese prod­ucts, but lo­cal peo­ple con­tinue to pre­fer Langa goods for their su­pe­rior qual­ity.

Shanaz Faqe, a Tech­ni­cal In­sti­tute stu­dent in Er­bil, is ex­am­in­ing a se­cond-hand dress at a shop in the mar­ket.

Faqe says the clothes she finds there can­not be found any­where else, and even if they were avail­able, they would not be af­ford­able.

Sahyda Rushdi, a 40year-old woman who visits Langa Mar­ket fre­quently, told the Kur­dish Globe that she some­times goes to look for a spe­cific brand she can only find in Langa.

“Langa clothes are both unique and higher qual­ity,” Rushdi claims.

In ad­di­tion to clothes, nu­mer­ous other items are sold at Langa, in­clud­ing home ap­pli­ances.

Na­j­dat Ali, 45, a shop owner who sells home and elec­tri­cal ap­pli­ances, says that all the var­i­ous types of ap­pli­ance he sells have been tested and shown to work prop­erly.

New stuff at the Langa Mar­ket

Al­though Langa Mar­ket started out as a place for used goods, some shops in the mar­ket sell new prod­ucts at a lower than av­er­age price.

Ab­dul­sami Aziz, who owns a shop sell­ing new clothes, says “I sell new prod­ucts im­ported from China and Tai­wan at 60% be­low their mar­ket price.”

In­deed, when it comes to some kinds of con­sumer goods, Langa Mar­ket can com­pete with the Re­gion’s mod­ern mar­kets and shop­ping cen­ters.

Bakir Farhad, an­other shop owner, told the Globe they have cus­tomers year round, and that de­mand for his clothes is so high he has to buy in bulk on a weekly ba­sis.

Langa Mar­ket trades­men claim that all se­cond -hand clothes are dis­in­fected with a spe­cial chem­i­cal be­fore they are im­ported to pre­vent dis­eases. How­ever, they still rec­om­mend buy­ers not to wear any Langa clothes be­fore wash­ing them.

His­tory of Langa Mar­ket

In early 1990s, when Iraq was sub­ject to eco­nomic sanc­tions, the coun­try’s econ­omy de­te­ri­o­rated sig­nif­i­cantly and in­comes de­creased pro­por­tion­ately. It was at this time that busi­ness­men started im­port­ing af­ford­able se­cond-hand clothes from Europe. This led to the for­ma­tion of Langa mar­kets in ev­ery city and town in the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion.

A view of the Er­bil Langa Baz­zar.

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