Festive Season Sales Drop for Domestic Apparel, CMAI Survey Says

The Clothing Manufacturing Association of India (CMAI) recently conducted a comprehensive survey to gauge the trends in the upcoming festive season. The survey, which included insights from 166 apparel manufactures/brands, shed light on various factors influencing the market. While around 22% of respondents expected the market to pick up over the upcoming festive season, around 78% expect the sales in this festive season to dip upto 25% as compared to last year’s sales. 

Union Minister Shri Piyush Goyal praised the textile sector for organizing Bharat Tex 2024- the largest ever textiles event. He said the expo is a non-industry factors like economic slowdown and inflation were considered to be the primary factors for lower sales expectations. Around 30% of respondents cited an overall economic slowdown as the main cause behind the sales expectations staying lower than last year. On the other side, around 16% of respondents feel that lower pricing might help the sales numbers to grow and 12% cited better options in clothes as the expected driving force behind increasing sales. When asked about the price point performance, around 67% of respondents felt that mid-price range clothing would do better than expensive clothes or low-priced clothes. 

Further, nearly 49% of respondents feel that kid’s wear will lead the way in sales. This was followed by 36% citing women’s wear and 12% men’s wear as the clothing category that will perform better. Also, Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities are expected to outshine the Metros in clothing sales with around 80% of respondents voting in their favour.

Speaking about the upcoming festive season, Rajesh Masand, President, Clothing Manufacturers Association of India (CMAI) said, “The survey findings shed light on the current dynamics of the apparel industry, as we eagerly anticipate the upcoming festive season. A majority of respondents expect the market to be subdued and that economic factors as well as the pricing strategies continue to be pivotal in shaping sales expectations. However, the industry remains resilient to navigating these challenges.

Speaking about the results of the survey, Mr. Rahul Mehta, Chief Mentor, Clothing Manufacturers Association of India (CMAI), “Despite observing some positive sentiments over the past 3 to 4 days, there remains a widespread sense of pessimism among CMAI members. This aligns with the broader slowdown experienced in the domestic garment sector during the last 4 to 5 months. Nevertheless, we anticipate a market upswing after Diwali, considering the extended Wedding Season that lies ahead. As many as 60% of the respondents felt offline stores will do better during the Festive Season whilst 40% felt Online portals will perform better.” The domestic apparel industry in India is an important sector that plays a vital role in the country’s economy. The size of the Indian apparel market is estimated to be Rs. 6.80 lakh crores, and has grown by between 15-20% in FY2023.