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Festival sales help lift demand for ethnic and occasion wear


NEW DELHI : Consumers celebrating the festivals and attending social gatherings have turned to ethnic wear in a big way, retailers and analysts said.

“We have definitely seen a positive spending pattern this festive season, led by the return of normalcy. Rakshabandhan, Ganesh Chaturthi, and Onam, we have seen a huge uptake in how consumers responded to festivals,” said Sandeep Pal, chief executive officer of men’s wear brand Tasva, jointly set up by Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail, and fashion designer Tarun Tahiliani.

According to Pal, apparel retail shrugged off the impact of pandemic faster than most consumer segments. Sales for men’s premium ethnic wear brands reported growth in the two quarters due to pent-up demand, he added. “Consumers upgrading their wardrobes for the festivities and the wedding season are an important component, considering that large gatherings are back.”

On Thursday, consultancy Redseer Strategy Consultants said fashion goods contributed 20% to the gross merchandise value (GMV) during the ongoing online festive sales.

Fashion, as a category, grew three times compared to business-as-usual days, or non-sale days, during the first leg of the festive sales. In fact, the first four days of the online sales starting late September fashion goods posted GMV of 5,500 crore.

Shoppers are also returning to brick-and-mortar stores not just for festive purchases, but also for the coming wedding season. Consequently, demand for ethnic and occasion wear picked up in a “big way”, according to some analysts.

“Sales of jewellery and occasion wear, which saw a tough time, has picked up. This time, wedding season is going to be long and people are going back to big-tickets weddings. So I think consumption is rather positive,” said Pushpa Bector, executive director, DLF Retail. Bector manages a portfolio of malls, including DLF Promenade, Emporio, DLF Avenue and Mall of India in Delhi-NCR and Chandigarh.

Sales at DLF Retail’s malls surpassed the 2019 levels in September though footfalls remained a tad lower. “We are assuming, month-on-month we will see 15% growth now,” Bector said.

Sidhant Keshwani, managing director and chief executive, Zivore Apparel Pvt. Ltd that operates ethnic wear brand Libas, said that the company scaled up production and warehouse operations to meet demand. “We are seeing an incremental increase in demand at both online and retail channels. We are expecting growth of 70% from last year’s festive season.”

Keshwani, whose brand sells largely online, said shoppers are spending on ethnic wear after two years. “We are following a format to ensure that new products are being added to physical as well as virtual channels every fortnight to keep up with consumer interest and demand,” he said.

Tasva’s Pal said the brand is witnessing a trend where consumers are looking for differentiated products and are willing to pay the price as long as they see value in the products.

Bector said while inflation remains a concern for a large cohort of shoppers, those celebrating significant occasions after a gap of two years are not holding back on spending.

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