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Posted at: Oct 30, 2017, 1:54 AM; last updated: Oct 30, 2017, 1:54 AM (IST)

Lull before chill, winter wear sales by 40%

Slowdown in export and domestic markets, liquidity crunch to blame
Lull before chill, winter wear sales by 40%

Vijay C Roy

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 29

Ludhiana-based winter wear manufacturers are reeling under stress as slowdown in export and domestic markets, hot weather conditions in north India and liquidity crunch have impacted the sales of winter clothing by almost 40%.

Ludhiana caters to almost 90% of the domestic demand for winter garments. The total size of the domestic garment industry is around Rs 25,000-30,000 crore. Of the total garment industry, woollen garments constitute 10-15%, with Ludhiana contributing 90% of the winter line.

“Slowdown in global market and moderation in commodity prices has impacted the exports. The exports of global markets are dwindling between 15-20%,”said RK Gupta, Executive Director, Wool & Woollens Export Promotion Council (W&WEPC).

He said due to dwindling exports many of the exporters have diversified into domestic market. As a result, more manufacturers are catering to the domestic market than the demand.

“There are a couple of reasons which has led to decline in sales. Firstly, there is a slowdown in the overseas market and demand in the domestic market has also decreased. Secondly, since many exporters are now catering to the domestic market, there is a problem of plenty i.e, production is more as compared to demand. Thirdly, delayed winter and liquidity crunch have also affected the sales. Roughly, the woollen garment industry is witnessing 40% decline in sales,” said Ajit Lakra, Managing Director, Superfine Knitters.

Industrialists also maintained that a majority of the purchases are being done during Diwali. However, if we compare with last year, Diwali was early this year and winter season is yet to take off.

Experts said earlier winter product lifecycle used to be between 45 and 60 days which had been reduced to 30 days now due to warm winter, resulting in decline in sales. There is also a changing trend as the industry is witnessing a shift from pullovers and wool to lighter jackets and sweat shirts.

“In order to cater to changing trend, many of the manufacturers have also expanded their product portfolio to boost the sales. Since pullovers are out of fashion, many of them have added sweat shirts in their manufacturing line,” said a Ludhiana-based yarn dealer.

The industry is also facing a problem of cheaper imports from China. This has also resulted in decline in sales.

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