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Indian fashion brands eye e-com, but buyer sentiment low

Mar '20
Pic: Shutterstock
Pic: Shutterstock
As the lockdown continues across the country with very low buyer sentiment for garments, Indian fashion brands are focusing on e-commerce. Fashion shows have been cancelled and supply chain management has been severely affected. Many start-ups are hoping the government comes out with some relief measures to compensate for their business losses.

Sarah & Sandeep’s focus has shifted towards its e-commerce platform and its international clients with whom it consults over Skype, according to co-founder and director Sandeep Gonsalves, who said the internal rules are changing daily depending on the change in scenario.

A few trunk shows and client engagement events across India had to be postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The company has also extended delivery periods for earlier orders. It expects to break even at least for the coming month as it has cut all unnecessary costs, Gonsalves told Fibre2Fashion.

With all their stores closed at the moment, online orders of FabAlley and Indya have slipped by 25 per cent, said co-founders Tanvi Malik and Shivani Poddar. The buyer sentiment has been fairly low for fashion retailers, they said. With a ban on social gatherings, occasion wear brand Indya has witnessed a dip in orders. Moreover, given the uncertainty of the crisis, people are not spending on apparel, they said.

Manoj Gyanchandani, managing director, Red Chief, Leayan Global Pvt. Ltd., said supply chain management across various functions has been adversely impacted, hampering overall business execution. Every business in such a situation will face a hit and that is something unavoidable, according to Vedika M founder Vedika Merh, who hoped the government provides some support to help manage the possible losses for businesses.

Meanwhile, N Vivekanandan, president of South India Imported Machine Knitters Association, said its member units are not in a position to repay bank loans as a result of which banks may classify the units as non-performing assets.

There is no clarity on when all the export and domestic supply chains will come back to normal and when will the finance ministry implement remedies, he said. He thinks exports would return to normalcy in June or July.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (DS)

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March 2020

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