Apparel industry has managed better growth with overall Apparel Index Value at 5.45 points in April-June FY 2016-17 compared to the previous quarter (Q4) where the overall Index Value was 3.79 points, The Clothing Manufacturers Association of India (CMAI) said in its latest quarterly report. Small brands performed much better during the quarter.
Giant and large brands maintained their growth trajectory, which is still much higher than small and mid brands. In fact, growth for giant and large brands during the three-month period is higher than last quarter but lower than the same quarter previous year. “The trend is similar for mid brands, however, it is the small brands that have performed much better this quarter compared to other quarters, touching 4.45 points,” the CMAI report said.
The unusually low increase in inventory holding was one of the main reasons for improved performance of small brands. In fact, the Index Value bouncing back to 5.45 points is mainly on account of restricted increase in inventory holding at 1.72; most often this figure is much higher in other quarters.
The 5.45 points growth clocked in CMAI's Q1 Apparel Index is approximately 22.47 per cent higher than the index for small brands which stood at 4.45 points. At 5.46 points, mid brands performed better than small brands, but it is the large brands with 6.72 points and giant brands with 9.57 points led the growth story during April-June 2016.
The correlation between sales turnover and inventory holding explains the difference in Index Value of different brand groups. A close look reveals the reason for Index Value not growing as much is because there's an increase in inventory holding against the improvement in sales turnover. So, moderate increase in sell through and investment generally fails to give the required boost in Index Value. As Sanjay K Jain, MD, TT Ltd puts it, “We operate in the economy segment and cater to the middle class who have many aspirations but limited budget. This segment is extremely price sensitive and we have always been tempted to give promotional schemes to compete, however since last one year we have changed track and are focusing on better value for money i.e. same price but better quality. Hence, our focus has shifted to quality rather than price. Consumers remember quality everyday and price just once.”
Rajiv Nair of Celio says that the sales turnover for the brand in the quarter has not been constantly growing as he would have expected and since they didn't opt for mid-season discounting, which increased their inventory holding.
In comparison at Classic Polo, inventory holding has gone down vis-a-vis last year, as their business has scaled up. “Classic Polo's sales through has scaled up due to improved designs and on time deliveries. Secondly, wide range of casual fashion at affordable price is another disguised reason contributing to the hike. Customer choices and preferences are well studied prior to the seasons from trade partners, dealer research and online international forecast standards (WGSN) to deliver merchandise to match best to target audience's perceptions,” explains Usha
Periasamy, VP-Operations & Brand, Classic Polo.
On same lines, Dollar Industries MD Vinod Kumar Gupta, says, “The growth in our sales turnover has come from product diversification and deep market penetration across the country, but there has been an increase in our inventory holding actually due to our strong backward integration.”
For both Dollar and Classic Polo, increase in sales has increased their inventory investment, if not inventory holding. On the other hand, Avadhoot Sansare, Business Head, VIP, says they have increased sales as well as controlled inventory holding through “better planning”. “Better sales planning, corrective action taken in the beginning of financial year in manpower allocation and distribution network helped us to take advantage of consistent supplies.”
However, the overall picture reveals that giant brands have grown maximum over last quarter, since they could manage much higher sales turnover and limit inventory holding, concludes the report. (RKS)
Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India