Effects of demonetisation that sent consumer confidence and sales plunging until February continue to reverberate across high-street shops and malls, prompting brands such as Zara, H&M, Massimo Dutti to advance their mid-season sale even before the customary winter discounts ran their course.
“There is too much unsold stock,” the head of a global fashion apparel company said.
“This is the first time that the midseason sale is happening in March. It always takes place in May. There is about a 20 per cent impact on business compared with last year. January was okay because of the end-of-the season sales.”
Mall owners said sales were down up to 20 per cent in February and the first half of March compared with the same period last year. In New Delhi, Zara and Massimo Dutti already have 50 per cent discounts on various products, while H&M stores have “midseason sales” offering discounts. The UK’s Marks and Spencer is giving customers 50 per cent off on the purchase of a second pair of trousers or T-shirts.
Across malls and outlets, it is raining discounts by several renowned brands. “They are stretching the sales season in one way or the other. Sales have sharply dropped since February and it is a good 25-30 per cent fall in February and March, compared with the sales of December and January. So, brands are resorting to discounts again,” the head of a company that runs a chain of malls said.
“These are planned promotions. It was there last year. We do these promotions to give incentives to consumers to come to the store,” Venu Nair, chief executive for M&S in India said.
For its part, H&M said the mid-season sale is not unusual. “The sale is part of H&M’s global strategy in between seasons to sell out transitional garments as we move to the new season, and there is nothing unusual about this,” an H&M spokesperson said.
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