Raymond expects a gradual pick up across various retail formats once the lockdown is lifted and believes that impact on retail sales in apparel industry will be ‘short-term’.
Sanjay Bahl, CFO, Raymond Group commented “We are confident that once the lockdown period is over, the sales would gradually pick up across various retail formats in the country.”
Lockdown due to Coronavirus is not all murky for the apparel sector; instead it is a prospect in disguise. Though there is a decline in demands, commodity prices have softened which would help the overall profitability during the current fiscal.
Sanjay draws parallel between current scenario and the time when GST was implemented. Come May and one might see early onset of end season sales as brands will try to make up for the lost sales.
So he finds the present scenario to be a great opportunity to break away from the season mentality that is actually a western concept and not very practical in the Indian context.
“Taking into account the immense volatility that requires prior commitments of 8 to 9 months in advance, Indian brands could think about creating products much closer to the season than following the regular sales cycle,” he said.
As the Coronavirus outbreak has induced a psychic carnage, online sales would surge for a short term with people preferring to stay home. However, retail sales at bricks-and-mortar stores and tough points might take some time to recover.
The way for retail sales and retailers to bounce back to pre-pandemic levels is to leverage e-commerce and omni-channel format for effective inventory management.
Raymond has already penetrated across the length and breadth of India with presence in over 600 towns through 20,000 point of sales.