The outbreak of the deadly coronavirus has hit the fashion companies tremendously. From losing their potential sales to being under the obligation of paying the staff and employees, the companies are facing their worst crisis.
In the wake of the situation many fashion brands like Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein amongst others have taken the stride to stretch their spring-summer inventory till the pre-Diwali season. This can prevent the stock from going out on discounts as the unseasonal sales can tamper the image of the brand. This decision comes as a result of the webinar conducted by the Retailers Association of India, owing to the accelerating tension amongst the stakeholders in the business of fashion.
“Retailers Association of India is the apex body for the retail industry and represents the rights of Indian retailers in the country. Its chain of members includes Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail, Future Group, Landmark Group amongst others.”
“Fortunately, this time Diwali comes later in November giving us an extended summer. We will cut the production of fall and holiday goods. We are avoiding deep discounting as it spoils the brand,” said Shailesh Chaturvedi, CEO of Tommy Hilfiger Apparels, adding that production could stabilize only by February-March next year.
Indian customers demand a change in the fabric only after October which is a positive point in these trying times. The fashion retailers who have decided to completely skip the manufacturing of the pre-fall collection. They say that this move will serve the motive of testing the demand of customers and help them plan their next batch of production accordingly. The spring-summer collection which is sold with great enthuse every year has been long stored in the warehouse due to nation-wide lockdown in the fight against coronavirus.
“Being nimble on the supply front is a good idea in such uncertain times,” Ritu Kumar’s managing director Amrish Kumar said.
The webinar also marked the announcement of another important decision. RAI decides to resume the operations of about 25% of the total retail stores in the country once the lockdown is lifted. This news comes as a big relief to the retailers who now plan to strategically operate after the lockdown catering to all the requirements of the customers as well as the staff members.
“It will be a structured opening like China where 7000 of our stores opened over three weeks. We may open stores on high-street faster than in malls. We may also start with one shift as reality is that business will not operate at the same scale as pre-COVID times,” said Vineet Gautam, country head of Bestseller India that sells fast fashion brands Jack and Jones, Vero Moda and Only.