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83% of wedding clothing makers report a drop in sales: CMAI

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More than 60% of the respondents in a CMAI survey attributed the weak performance to general economic slowdown, while 14% attributed it to high prices and 13% felt the lesser number of wedding dates compared to the previous year contributed to the drop in sales

Bengaluru: Compared to the sales in 2022, 83% of the wedding clothing manufacturers witness a drop in sales in 2023, according to a survey report by Clothing Manufacturing Association of India (CMAI) which gathered 110 wedding clothing manufacturers to assess the business trends in the recently-conlcuded wedding season.

“Currently the market is seeing a fairly significant slowdown, which has been caused by the overall inflationary conditions in the market. The first quarter of the current financial year is likely to be disappointing for the industry, and the impact is being felt by both the value as well as the upper segments of consumers,” said Rajesh Masand, president, CMAI.

As many as 77% of the survey respondents indicated average to poor sales in the past season. More than 60% of the respondents attributed the weak performance to the general economic slowdown, while 14% attributed it to high prices and 13% of respondents felt the lesser number of wedding dates as compared to the previous season contributed to the drop in sales.

40% of the respondents indicated a drop in sales between 10%-25% over the previous year. A large majority of almost 85% of the respondents indicated that economically priced products fared better than the more expensive varieties.

“Exposure to the Western culture and social media platforms are influencing dressing patterns, and fashion sense amongst the youth is causing a gradual shift from traditional clothing to western clothing, especially in the women’s wear segment,” said Rahul Mehta, chief mentor at CMAI.

“At the same time, some sort of a ‘return to tradition’ is being seen in the men’s wear segment, with more men wanting to wear traditional clothing during festivals and weddings,” Mehta added.

The apparel industry has been growing at a fairly consistent rate of 8-10% per annum till 2021. Post-pandemic consumers started to go back to physical stores and the year 2022-23 is estimated to have grown by between 15-20%. However, with the costs of raw materials as well as the overall cost of production has gone up substantially, the growth has been entirely price-led, and the volumes would still be below the previous year by 3-5%, report estimates.

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