Branded apparels ride high on festival, wedding season

Meenakshi Verma Ambwani/TV Jayan | | | Updated on: Nov 02, 2021

Buyers have started thronging markets and shopping malls with a gusto PTI | Photo Credit: Shahbaz Khan

With consumers readying for Diwali, sales seen picking up

After the Covid-19-induced slump that diverted the demands to comfort-dressing, the festival and wedding season has perked up the occasion-wear and formal segment.

The hard-hit branded apparel segment is betting big on the season for a strong sales revival with many players already noticing a resurgence in footfalls at the stores. Increasing customer interest has raised hopes that sales are soon going to revert to pre-pandemic levels.

After a prolonged pandemic deflation, buyers have started thronging markets and shopping malls with a gusto. Noida-based Gurvinder Sharma says she is dressing up for Diwali and has been shopping for occasion and ethnic-wear. “We seem to have been forever wearing comfortable lounge pants. Now for an extended family of 10, I am looking for occasion-wear; Diwali is here and so are the weddings,” she said.

According to Bidyut Bhanjdeo, Head – Sales, Apparel Business, Raymond Ltd, there is an expectation of 8-10 per cent growth over 2019 levels among its channel partners.

Sales growth

“Festive buying started with Dusshera in the eastern region where we observed a growth over 2019 levels. Now we believe the overall sales will definitely cross the pre-pandemic levels. With markets opening up and vaccinations picking up pace, customers are in a buoyant mood. Offline stores are witnessing good footfalls,” he said.

The annual consumer sentiment survey by Retailers Association of India, released recently, found that apparel and home appliances topped as the two categories on the consumers’ festival shopping list.

Siddharth Bindra, Managing Director of ethnic apparel retailer Biba India, said, “Due to the pandemic, consumers had earlier not been looking at buying formal and occasion wear. But with the onset of the festival and wedding season, they are definitely looking to dress up again for parties and weddings. Demand for occasion wear and formal wear has picked up and we expect this trend to continue in the coming months.”

Improved demand

He added that overall the company expects to see growth over the pre-pandemic levels during the festival period. “Demand across markets has picked up and is in fact much better than what was anticipated. The northern and eastern regions are doing well. There are still some challenges in regions such as Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. We expect offline business to be back at 90 per cent of the pre-pandemic levels, while online business will see much higher growth,” he said.

Digital platforms for shopping D2C and the online apparel brands gained strongly in the pandemic times and this momentum is expected to continue. Tanvi Malik, Co-Founder & CEO, FabAlley & Indya, said, “With all this pent-up demand for occasion wear and our special offerings for the season put together, we’re expecting a 100 per cent pre-Diwali growth over 2020.”

Published on November 01, 2021
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