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Subdued apparel sales likely in festive season

Apparel sales are likely to remain subdued this festive season amid the economic slowdown. Apparel manufacturers and retailers had witnessed a sharp decline in sales until August. So, retailers have been offering discounts of up to 60 per cent. These have helped improve apparel sales in terms of volumes.

Kewal Kiran Clothing is promoting its products through cross-selling of fashion accessories and offering branded denim at various price points. The company has identified offers like free deodorants and a chance to win mobile phones for crossing a threshold of the purchase value.

With a slowdown in auto sales and other parameters indicating a slowdown in the rural economy, apparel sales are set to be impacted. Besides, Navratri and Diwali are early this year. Consumer sentiment is skewed in favor of a lower ticket size this year as the festive season comes ahead of maturity of the kharif crops. Since farmers bank mostly on the harvesting of early kharif crops to receive some cash flow, which is delayed this year due to the late onset of monsoon rainfall and its uneven distribution, the agriculture-based purchase may be aggressive. While consumer demand this Navratri, which started late in September, has rebounded, the average ticket size is small, which will likely to keep sales subdued this festive season ending Diwali.

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