Slowdown? Top brands report 30% jump in festive sales

09 Oct,2013

By Writankar Mukherjee & Sagar Malviya


The festive season sales have started off well in most of the country with marketers reporting up to 30% jump in year-on-year sales as consumers swarmed malls and markets in the first weekend after the Shraadh fortnight.


Top retailers and brands such as Samsung, Peter England, Woodland, Van Heusen, Indigo Nation, Biba and Scullers attributed the positive start to festive sales to pent-up demand, 10% hike in dearness allowance for more than 80 lakh central government employees and pensioners, and the payout of festival bonus. “The festive season has started off in good spirit,” Harkirat Singh, managing director at shoes and apparel retailer Woodland, said. “There has been a modest 30% jump in sales, with consumers buying for themselves and gifting,” he said.


Consumer electronics and durable-makers like Samsung and LG said that while sales in the east has picked up in the weekend before Durga Puja, in places such as Delhi and Mumbai, consumer enquiries, sales bookings and purchases of large-screen televisions and large home appliances such as side-by-side refrigerators and fully automatic washing machines have increased. Atul Jain, senior vice-president for consumer electronics at Samsung India, said the demand increased by up to 30% last weekend over the previous four days. “This gives us huge confidence as we enter the festival season,” he said. Samsung is targeting a 50% jump in sales in east and 40% rise in national festive sales to around Rs 3,500 crore.


The festive spirit was most palpable in Kolkata where malls were choc-a-bloc this weekend and there were long queues in front of popular stores such as Sreeleathers and Baazar Kolkata on Sunday evening.


Some like Sreeleathers kept their store open from 6 am till 10 pm. SB Dey, partner at the leather products retailer, said that despite extending operational hours, huge rush created long queues outside all his stores. At Great Eastern, the largest durable retailer in the east, sales started picking up from the last week despite heavy rains, its director Pulkit Baid said, adding that sales are up 15-20% over last year. The pick-up in consumer demand has come as a relief for retailers after lukewarm sales during Onam, Kerala’s biggest festival, last month.


Future Group-owned apparel maker Indus League, which owns and sells brands like Indigo Nation, Scullers and Jealous Jeans, said it had to rush in fresh stocks to several outlets across several cities including New Delhi and Mumbai.


“We did not anticipate such a huge demand since Onam sales were comparatively dull this year,” Indus League CEO Rachna Aggarwal said.


Women’s ethnic fashion brand Biba said its sales have grown 35-40% so far this season, almost double the pace of its expectation. “During this season, we usually see a lot of traction in heavy clothing sets which cost around Rs 8,000. But this year, consumers are not shying away from buying garments priced up to Rs 20,000,” Siddharth Bindra, managing director at Biba, said.


Men’s apparel brands Van Heusen and Peter England said their sales are growing 40% and up to 25%, respectively, in the east. “However, sales growth is yet to touch what it was in 2011,” Kedar Apshankar, chief operating officer at Peter England, said.


Source:The Economic Times

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