Pakistan firms traverse from manufacturing to retailing

May 09, 2012 - Pakistan

For long, several globally renowned apparel brands have been sourcing their fabric and clothing requirements from Pakistan. But, there have been very few Pakistani companies with brands of their own.

However, some companies that are engaged in export-oriented textile manufacturing are now diversifying into retailing through setting up their own apparel brands.

One such example is the Karachi-based ZK Industries, which ventured into retailing of its own branded garments four years ago.

Explaining the reason for his company’s diversification into retail segment, Mr. Younus Muhammad Bashir, Managing Director of ZK Industries, told fibre2fashion, “When we manufactured for others, we were just vendors. As time passed, competition increased and we thought that when we can manufacture for other brands we can have our own brand as well.”

“Till 2008, we were just vendors and we entered into the retail business in January 2009 by opening our first outlet in Karachi. Today, we have seven outlets – six in Pakistan and one in Dubai – and there are few more stores coming up soon,” he informs.

ZK Industries’ retail business is doing well and the company plans to launch more new products. Although the firm’s main business is fabrics, it is venturing into retailing of ready-to-wear garments.

Comparing manufacturing with retail, Mr. Bashir says, “Manufacturing business has a big volume while retail does not have such a volume. Manufacturing has a limited market and you meet limited set of people, and there is no direct interaction with the end consumers.”

“On the other hand, retail has its own charm. Whatever you sell in retail, you are paid immediately in cash for it. Moreover, being in the market and meeting new people everyday aids better idea generation. Being in direct touch with the consumers gives a better understanding of the consumer choices and preferences. The emergence of social media has made retailing even more interesting,” he concludes.