A sharp decrease in sales due to hiked product prices and low
demand has pushed apparels retailers to start the year-end discount season earlier than scheduled. This is being done to clear piled up inventories and smoothen cash-flow.
While French menswear brand Celio, which has a joint venture with Future Group, is on a sale for almost one-and-a-half months till February 14; UK-based brand French Connection is having its year-end sale till March. Normally, these brands have their end-of-the-season for a month. Esprit has not only advanced its end-of-season sale by over a fortnight to December 31 this year (it was January 16 last year), it is even offering a 40 per cent discount on the purchase of three items. Similarly, Italian premium brand Diesel is already on sale from last week. Its sale normally starts in end-January.
Another retailer that joins the list is Central. It has already held three-day shopping event between December 30, 2011 to January 1, 2012 offering 25 per cent discount on 500 brands, before end-of-season sale kicks-off. Apart from the domestic brands, global names such as Mango, Vero Moda, Forever New are offering up to 40 per cent discount to deal with the below expectations last season. Since fresh inventories would enter the stores by February-March, these retailers are rushing to clear old merchandise so that cash does not get stuck in that.
Apparel sales were badly hit after government levied 10 per cent excise duty on branded apparel that led to a hike in product prices. An increase in raw material cost further added to their woes discouraging buyers. Analysts say, slowing economy, falling markets and rising equated monthly instalments have left lesser disposable money in the hands of people.