Retailers, brands pre-pone winter wear sales

Wednesday, 05 January 2011
Retailers, brands pre-pone winter wear salesAs the mercury dips lower in the north India, winter seems to be spreading a lot of cheer among Indian apparel retailers. After doing brisk business with the winter wear collection on their shelves, most retailers and brands have now started discount sales. Perhaps a little early, for unlike previous years this time sales have started since December and the newspapers are full of ads announcing discounts of up to 50 per cent for some brands. This at a time when woolens are still doing brisk business.

In fact,Retailers, brands pre-pone winter wear sales most retailers and premium fashion brands say that the sale of woolens has been very good this year compared to previous years. Sales have gone up nearly 30-50 per cent. Many brands have even run through as much as 80 per cent of their inventory. This has pushed them to start sales early to liquidate the rest, even as winter is still at its peak. Take Lilliput for example, the kidswear brand started its discounts a week earlier this year around end-December. This was because of a major spurt in sales as early as November. Now, the brand is offering 30-50 per cent discounts on apparel and flat 20 per cent on toys.

According to Sanjeev Narula, Lilliput’s managing director, nearly 70 per cent of their bulk inventory like sweaters and jackets got sold before they actually started promotions this year. Now they are aiming to clear out the residual winter wear inventory from their shelves so that they can bring in summer wear early. In fact, winter wear sales have grown
by more than 40 per cent for them this year.

Anticipating a severe winter most retailers and brands had stocked up more inventories this year. And the gamble paid off well. For Woodland too this has been one of the best seasons. As Harkirat Singh, MD, Woodland India says anticipating a severe winter they brought in new designs and a greater number of SKUs than other years. The inventory was 20-25 per cent more. It was a risk but it paid off. Singh said it is still the peak of winter in the North, but with about 30 per cent inventory left, they have decided to go for sales. Things are moving even faster now, and barring the few odd items, he expects to sell out in the next 9-10 days. Woodland recorded 30 per cent increase in sales over last year.

ITC Lifestyle retailing too has seen a 30 per cent growth in sales over last winter and at the moment don’t have much inventory left to go into sales. This, in spite of the fact that they stocked up at least 20 per cent more than last winter. Similarly, Spencer’s Retail has started its promotions on sweaters and jackets and plans to start deep discounting on winter wear soon. Their winter wear promotions are running in New Delhi, Gurgaon, Lucknow , Ghaziabad, Gorakhpur and Kolkata. As for Pantaloons, the winter wear offtake has been nearly 50 per cent higher over last year. They had increased their inventory by 30 per cent expecting a cold winter and most of it has got sold off.

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