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Branded apparel sales up 5-10% in April-June qtr on aspirational demand

Unbranded wear lags despite low price point; industry calls for standardisation, as has been achieved in auto sector

Dilip Kumar Jha  |  Mumbai 

Apparel industry

Branded sales boosted to report 5-10 per cent growth in the April–June quarter as manufacturers advanced “end-of-season” said by two weeks.

Unlike previous years when branded makers began annual “end-of-season” sale by June end, this year the seasonal practice started mid-June. So, this periodic sale volume would reflect in the quarterly performance for the April–June quarter.

“Overall sentiment in branded apparels has turned positive, boosting sales in the April–June quarter over the same period last year. We estimate 5-10 per cent surge in business volume and proportionate rise in turnover for branded makers during April–June quarter," said Rahul Mehta, President, Clothing Manufacturers Association of India (CMAI).

Apparel sales in April and May, however, remained sluggish, but bounced back in June. Branded apparel makers fix product price as per input cost which varies based on use of fabric, stitches, chains and styles. Unbranded clothes are cheaper by 50-60 per cent.

Kewalchand P Jain, Chairman, Kewal Kiran Clothing Ltd, the producer of Killer and other leading denim brands in India, emphasised the need for standardisation in apparels, like automobiles.

“Automobile and footwear industries have successfully standardised their products, which apparel and textile producers need to follow. Standardisation would further boost sales of branded apparel with narrow in differential pricing. To stand out, however, apparel makers need to focus on unique designs, stiches and washes from time to time to offer differentiated pricing and improve realisations,” said Jain.

All distribution channels such as large format stores, MBOs (multi branded outlets), distributors and EBOs (exclusive branded outlets) have major role to play in bringing standardisation in the organised branded apparel market in metros, large cities and smaller cities as they are the face of the consumers and develop direct relationships with them. Brands are equally responsible for bringing standardisation in their offerings.

Data compiled by consultancy firm Wazir Advisors show a majority of branded apparel makers including Aditya Birla Fashion & Lifestyle, Future Lifestyle Fashions and Shoppers Stop have reported a growth in operating profit margins during FY2019 over FY2018.

As French menswear brand Celio’s Chief Executive Officer Satyen P Momaya says, “Increase in sales turnover is a combination of store growth and expansion. Our store growth has been between 0-6 per cent and overall growth is better.”

A majority of branded apparel and garment manufacturers are focusing on expanding their business through fresh capital infusion and store opening to cater to rural aspirations.

“We are exploring new markets and are on an expansion mode,” said Mayank Jain, Marketing Head, Monte Carlo.

Mehta forecasts the uptrend in branded apparel sale to continue with revival in the monsoon rainfalls and expectation of an upsurge in rural economy.

First Published: Thu, July 04 2019. 21:18 IST