Branded apparel sales in India grew five to ten per cent in the April–June quarter. Unlike previous years when branded apparel makers would begin end-of-season sales by June end, this year the seasonal practice started mid-June.
Branded apparel and garment manufacturers are focusing on expanding their business through fresh capital infusion and store openings. The uptrend in branded apparel sales is expected to continue with the revival in rainfall and the expectation of an upsurge in the rural economy. Brands are exploring new markets.
Overall sentiment among branded apparels has turned positive. Operating profit margins of most branded apparel makers including Aditya Birla Fashion & Lifestyle, Future Lifestyle Fashions and Shoppers Stop grew during fiscal 2019 over fiscal 2018. Apparel sales in April and May remained sluggish but bounced back in June. Branded apparel makers fix product price as per input costs which vary based on the use of fabrics, stitches, chains and styles. Unbranded clothes are cheaper by almost half. Standardisation has become key since it boosts sales of branded apparel. So, apparel makers have seen the need to focus on unique designs, stitches and washes from time to time to offer differentiated pricing and improve realizations.