The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent nationwide lockdown has impacted various industries across the country.
Clothing sector too experienced a hit. Delay in the unlocking of retail stores and shops worsened the situation.
Owing to the extremely slow recovery in consumer demand that resulted from the above-mentioned situation, apparel brands and retailers have now deferred new launches for this season!
While a big number of clothing retailers have still not opened their stores, few prominent brands including Cantabil and FBB have only opened their selective stores with ‘no exchange, no return’ policy.
“New launches are completely on hold. Since COVID-19 pandemic came into light and nationwide lockdown started, there have been no launches of new brands or collections,” said Ujjwal Lahoti, Managing Director of Lahoti Overseas, further adding that except for a few launches that took place in January and February this year, rest all have been postponed.
Rahul Mehta, Chief Mentor, Clothing Manufacturers Association of India (CMAI) underlined that not only new launches have been deferred due to the ongoing unprecedented times, but even the previous plans of opening up new stores have been put on hold.
“Earlier, we used to operate some stores just for location advantage even if they were non-profitable. Now, business sentiment has completely changed with retailers’ focus on break-even or profit-earning before expansion into new products or location,” he added.