India’s big fat wedding shopping has witnessed a downfall this season as a majority of traders surveyed by the industry association Clothing Manufacturing Association of India (CMAI) reported average-to-poor sales.
CMAI surveyed around 110 wedding clothing manufacturers to access the business trends in the recent wedding season.
Around 77 per cent of respondents indicated average to poor sales in the past season, according to report.
More than 60 per cent of the respondents perceived a decline in sales as a result of a general economic slowdown, while 14 per cent pointed to a surge in prices. However, 13 per cent of respondents said the lesser number of auspicious dates than the previous season also contributed to the decline in sales.
More than 80 per cent of respondents reported “zero growth” as compared to the previous season.
The Indian wedding market is a major factor behind sales for the apparel and jewellery industry.
Around 40 per cent of respondents indicated a 10 to 25 per cent fall in sales compared to the previous year. The majority, 85 per cent of the respondents reported that economically priced products performed better than the high price range varieties.
Pastel colours and lighter embroideries were more in demand, according to survey results.
CMAI President Rajesh Masand said the market is observing a “fairly significant” slowdown driven by high inflation. “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," Masand said.
The apparel industry has been growing at an average rate of 8 to 10 per cent per year. Post-pandemic the industry witnessed a revival in the year 2022 with consumers going back to the physical stores and markets.
However, the cost of raw materials and the overall cost of production have increased significantly, this growth has entirely been price-led, and the volumes would still be less than the previous year by 3 to 5 per cent.