Wedding clothing manufacturers reported average to weak sales in the past season in the May-June period due to economic slowdown. As per a survey conducted by the Clothing Manufacturing Association of India (CMAI), as many as 77 per cent of the respondents indicated average to poor sales during this period.

The survey is based on responses from about 110 wedding clothing manufacturers and was conducted by the industry body to assess business trends in the wedding season.

“More than 60 per cent of the respondents attributed the weak performance to the general economic slowdown, while 14 per cent attributed it to high prices. However, 13 per cent respondents felt the lesser number of auspicious dates as compared to the previous season contributed to the drop in sales,” CMAI stated in a release.

Rajesh Masand, President, Clothing Manufacturers Association of India (CMAI) said, “Currently, the market is seeing a fairly significant slowdown, which the overall inflationary conditions in the market have caused. The first quarter of the current financial year is likely to be disappointing for the industry, and the impact is being felt by both the value as well as the upper segments of consumers.

Compared to the wedding season in the year 2022, nearly 83 per cent of the respondents revealed that they did not clock any growth. Most respondents (40 per cent) indicated a drop in the range of 10-25 per cent in sales compared to the previous season. A large majority of respondents said that economically priced products fared better than the more expensive varieties. Lighter embroideries and pastel colours were more in demand, as per the survey findings.

The apparel industry has been growing at a fairly consistent rate of 8-10 per cent per annum and witnessed a revival in 2022 in post-pandemic times with the consumers back at stores and markets. The industry is estimated to have grown by 15-20% in FY 22-23. However, with the rise in raw materials and production costs, this growth has been entirely price-led, and the volumes would still be below the previous year by 3-5 per cent, the industry body noted.

Rahul Mehta, Chief Mentor, Clothing Manufacturers Association of India (CMAI), “Exposure to western culture with accessibility to content over social media platforms are influencing the dressing patterns, and fashion sense amongst the youth, which is causing a gradual shift from traditional clothing to western clothing especially in the women’s wear segment. On the other hand, some sort of a ‘return to tradition’ is being seen in the men’s wear segment, with more men wanting to wear traditional clothing during festivals and weddings.”