scorecardIndian brides go austere with lower priced, light-embroidery trousseaus this season
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Indian brides go austere with lower priced, light-embroidery trousseaus this season

Indian brides go austere with lower priced, light-embroidery trousseaus this season
Business3 min read
  • Most clothing retailers say that this wedding season saw no growth in sales, while many reported a drop.
  • Most of them blame the economic slowdown, while others attribute it to high prices, and fewer auspicious dates.
  • Retailers Association of India too says that sales across categories has moderated, due to the high base effect in the previous year that saw extraordinary growth.
The economic slowdown seems to be taking a toll on one of India’s most vibrant spending seasons — that of the big fat Indian weddings.

This year, 83% of respondents of a survey by Clothing Manufacturers Association of India (CMAI) said there has been absolutely ‘no growth’ as compared to the wedding season of 2022. Also, 40% of them said that there has been a drop in sales to the tune of 10-25% over the previous year. The wedding season generally runs from April to June.

Indian brides seem to be going austere as a large majority of clothing retailers said that the economically priced products fared better than the more expensive varieties. “Lighter embroideries and pastel colours were more in demand as per the survey results,” says CMAI.

“Currently the market is seeing a fairly significant slowdown, which has been caused by the overall inflationary conditions in the market. 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,” said Rajesh Masand, president of CMAI.

More than 60% of the respondents attributed the weak performance to the general economic slowdown. While 14% of them attributed it to high prices, 13% believe that the fewer number of auspicious dates as compared to the previous season contributed to the drop.

The high base effect

A survey by Retailers Association of India (RAI) said that retailers across categories saw a modest growth of 7% in the month of May compared with last year. Jewellery and apparel showed moderate growth at 9%.

“As consumers are now getting into their normal business routines, we are witnessing moderate growth over previous year. However, we are also aware that April and May months in 2022 witnessed extraordinary growth at 23% and 24%, respectively, compared to pre-pandemic periods (April 2019 and May 2019),” said Kumar Rajagopalan, chief executive officer, RAI.

The apparel industry has been growing at a fairly consistent rate of 8-10% per annum, said CMAI. The industry saw a revival in 2022 as consumers went back to the physical stores and markets – and 2022-23 is estimated to have seen growth of 15-20%.

“However, with the costs of raw materials as well as overall cost of production having gone up substantially, this growth has been entirely price-led, and the volumes would still be below the previous year by 3-5%,” said CMAI.

Women go West, men go Indian

The apparel sector is also seeing a shift in trends due to higher urbanisation of India.

“Exposure to western culture with accessibility to content over social media platforms is 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,” Rahul Mehta, chief mentor at CMAI.

Mehta, however, added that the men’s wear segment is seeing some sort of a ‘return to tradition’ — as more men are seeking to go traditional during festivals and weddings.

The share price of companies in the sector — Go Fashion, Raymond and Vedant Fashions, which owns the Manyavar brand – have come off their monthly highs. Vedant fell 6% as compared to last week. Shares of Go Fashion – which is into premium leggings and such apparel — remained flat this week, as did the shares of premium clothing brand Raymond.

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