New Normal

No demand, readymade biz takes a hit

Neeraj Bagga

Tribune News Service

Amritsar, July 7

With people being advised to stay inside their homes and avoid moving out unless it is highly necessary, readymade business has lost its customers base.

As an impact of the advisory, vehicles are no longer visible on city roads, especially commercial hubs. So, people no longer require much apparel. Demand of casuals has obviously increased in the changed circumstances.

Demand from students, teachers and non-teaching staff of educational institutes, right from schools to universities has almost vanished.

People did not go out for a vacation, so holiday shopping was also dropped this time. Similarly, limiting the number of participants in wedding parties has eroded the slim chances of sale picking up.

Deepali Jain, operating online readymade garment portal Owncraft said she started little late after the relaxation in the lockdown. Even then, the response of customers was lukewarm as only a couple of pieces were procured per day. During the peak season, she used to sell 70 to 80 pieces of women’s winter coats and on normal days, it was 15 pieces daily. She received orders from the North East, Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, West Bengal. Her family is into manufacturing of fabric and she started getting coats stitched and selling these online.

Both sale and manufacturing are down. Labourers left for their places, seriously curtailing the manufacturing capacity of factories, but lack of demand does upset the equation.

QUOTES

“Vital period has been lost during the lockdown and now, it is off-season. The next season will commence from September and I am very skeptical of customers’ behavior, as many people have lost their jobs and purchasing power has shrunk. So, it will be highly unpredictable to say how customers will behave.”

Deepali Jain, operates online readymade garment portal Owncraft

People have lost purchasing power. The time for marriage season shopping was eaten up by the lockdown period and three months of monsoon period from July to September are always considered off-season. Thereafter, the winter season will come and the entire clothing range will be replaced.

Rajiv Aneja, general secretary, Amritsar Wholesale Readymade Garments’ Association

Customers are not coming out for shopping. So, they are encountering no less than a slump period. During the lockdown, our expenditure on operating shop was under control. Now, daily expenses are intact whether sales take place or not.

Balbir Singh, owner of a readymade shop on Main Bazaar, Puttalighar

The attitude of the law enforcing agency is not favourable for business. They have barricaded the approach road from both sides. How can a customer on a motor bike or a four wheeler reach any outlet like this?

Meet Preet Singh, another shopkeeper in Puttalighar

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