The slow down all of us were fearing, and in fact wondering why it had not yet happened, finally seems to have come about in November. Quite frankly, when September and October both went past reasonably good, I was beginning to feel that we would be through. It looked as if our sins of excessive discounting and bullish projections were forgiven, and all was well.
Unfortunately, that does not seem to be the case. Post-Diwali has been a disaster—one which some might say, somewhat sneeringly—a disaster waiting to happen. After all, what else can you expect after nearly a Month and a half of massive dumping during July and August, and some form or the other of Promos continuing even during the Peak Months of Festivals? And we seem to be back at doing what we can’t seem to do without these days— Discounts and Promos! Even formats, which boldly declared that they may not have an EOSS, appear to be joining the crowd and have announced their EOSS Schedules. I know I am repeating myself, perhaps ad nauseam, but trust me—UNLESS WE, AS AN INDUSTRY, STOP THESE 5-6 WEEKS OF DRASTIC DISCOUNTING AT THE END OF EACH SEASON, WE CAN NEVER HOPE TO HAVE MORE THAN ABOUT 18-20 WEEKS OF GOOD SALES IN A YEAR. But then, Wiser Men than me run the Industry, and I am hoping they know something that I don’t, and till then, good luck to Consumers! An interesting Recommendation has come from one of our Members. As you would know, an Importer of Garments has to pay a Minimum Specific Duty on all Garments, based on the Product Category of the Imported Item. These Specific Duties were fixed some 20 years ago, when the Dollar/Rupee parity was close to 1:30. Today, when the parity has changed to 1:63, surely there is a case for revising the Specific Duties. After all, if, as the Government insists, there is stress on job creation, what better way than to make Imports more expensive and encourage more Domestic Production? CMAI is working on this Proposal, but if there are any suggestions in this regard, do send them in soon.
Till then, a Merry Christmas to all!