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How trends in textiles industry changed this Diwali

The overall trend associated with textiles industry is that we might not be out of the woods yet but the demand revival is underway.

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Diwali is the time of the year when a major chunk of the Indian population indulges in a shopping spree, buying everything from electrical appliances to vehicles to clothes. It’s no secret that the Covid-19 pandemic, the fear associated with it and the stringent guidelines issued by the government have dampened the Diwali spirit this year and even as we are in an unlock phase, a lesser number of people are daring to venture out of their homes. The abysmal situation prevailing over the past few months has not just ushered the global economy into a state of recession, but devastated almost all sectors and industries.

While it’s right that there’s always a light at the end of a tunnel, this tunnel seems to be a long one. With regard to the textile and apparel industry, Diwali is traditionally one of the most happening seasons, but many players this time around are even struggling for survival. A few months back, US-based management consulting firm McKinsey & Company had sounded an alarm for the fashion industry, suggesting that the situation would deteriorate from high-alert to red zone. According to its findings, as much as 80% of leading fashion companies across the US and Europe would be in financial distress due to the pandemic. Unfortunately, the situation isn’t any different in India.

If we look at the Diwali season revenue across the industry this year, it would appear too abysmal to be compared with numbers from any previous season. As a matter of fact, the sales happening should be associated more with the fall and winter seasons rather than the occasion of Diwali. Though some people are now daring to venture out for shopping purposes, there are hardly any parties happening and the incomes are also curtailed. These factors can also be attributed to reduced sale numbers.

However, there’s one trend that cannot be overlooked. Relatively more purchasing is being registered in the women clothing segment as against the men’s. Men are buying significantly less this time around as compared to their traditional buying habits. More women are going for shimmers and also opting for leather-based clothing.

The overall trend associated with textiles industry is that we might not be out of the woods yet but the demand revival is underway. While the online sales have picked up, people are now also visiting standalone showrooms. I have no qualms in stating that the erosion of negative sentiment has certainly begun. Consumers as well as industry players are beginning to feel positive and the confidence is also limping back to normalcy. We expect the momentum to get better in the post-Diwali period as well.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

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Surya Suri

The author is Director, Steele collection

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