Birmingham is hosting its first late-night Eid shopping event in the city next week, as thousands of local Muslims prepare to mark the end of summer fasting.
Stores including Selfridges, House of Fraser, Marks & Spencer, Primark, Debenhams, Boots and Emporio Armani will be among those staying open late, offering special discounts and activities on Thursday 24th July, to tie in with Eid celebration festivities. Events run from 5pm until 10pm.
Organisers say Eid is an extremely important celebration for the city. Last year, major stores saw an average increase of around 25% in sales in the week before Eid festivities. Beauty, menswear and childrenswear sold particularly well as customers marked celebrations by traditionally buying new items.
The event is being organised by Retail Birmingham, who support business and retailers in the city centre. They say they've invested heavily in marketing campaigns to more than 100,000 Muslim households in the city. Shoppers in the Midlands usually head to Manchester and London for shopping festivities after summer fasting.
Retail Birmingham say it's important to keep spending for such events local, to help the local business community benefit. They say a number of retailers can expect an increase in sales as shoppers purchase gifts, beauty and clothing ready for the three-day Eid al-Fitr celebrations.
Selected stores in Birmingham will offer free bottled water to shoppers when the fast breaks at 9.12pm on Thursday night. Others are offering engraving and Arabic calligraphy sessions in-store, as well as late-night food sampling.