It seems winter’s late arrival is taking a toll on hosiery industry’s stocks. Changes in people’s purchasing pattern post-Covid – like option of online buying and less impulsive buying – have only added to the woes of stocking manufacturers.
Knitwear Club president Vinod Thaper said, “Anticipating reduced winter season, production done by small and medium enterprises is already 20%-25% less compared to last year. This sentiment had started coming from October onwards when we were getting reduced orders from other states for the coming winter season. The reduced winter season is an open secret for all of us. We are slowly shifting to fashion garments rather than just concentrating on woollens. After all, one has to survive. There has been hardly any addition to the machinery for woollens for the past many years.”
Akash Bansal – proprietor of Rage, a popular brand of women’s wear – said, “Impact of delayed winters is felt by brands as well as small industrialists. Post-Covid, the purchase patterns of people have changed a lot – people are spending on new cars, on education of children, on new houses, but buying clothes is last on their purchase list. Impulsive buying is also missing. It seems that people will grab products more during discounted sales around the Christmas season.”
Bansal added, “Online market is also getting in the way, as a large variety of products is available online, and customers have too many options to select from, that too sitting in the comforts of their home. This has certainly affected the hosiery business.”
Sudarshan Jain, president of Knitwear Apparel Manufacturers’ Association of Ludhiana (KAMAL), said, “This year production by most units of KAMAL is 20%-25% less compared to last year. We are already facing recession in European market due to ongoing war (Russia-Ukraine). Thus, exporters are at the receiving end of the slow market. Also, the purchasing power of the locals has come down post-Covid. It seems that people are waiting for sales by year-end.”
Jain added, “Snowfall is expected in the hills within a week’s time, so we can then expect chill in weather during daytime. We hope that winter will get extended till February.”
Industrialists also indicated that in J&K, Himachal Pradesh and north-east area, though the temperature has come down, the demand for hosiery was less compared to last year.
Thaper also said that earlier the credit period with corporates used to be 90 days and many companies have extended it up to 120 days, which is again a cause of concern for small and medium enterprises which are suppliers of corporates as they have to wait for a longer period to get their payment. A dip in the day temperature can help the market move, said Bansal.