Buying Agencies' business down; companies are on toe
Changing conditions of apparel export business is also having negative impact on the buying agencies’ business and some are either quitting or rebuilding, while some are on toe to cope up these challenges. Some medium-level buying houses have reduced their staff and are consolidating overall; similarly some top level buying houses are also struggling to survive. To mention some, Attitude Connect (Fashion Engineering), Gurgaon, almost a decade old buying house, has reportedly reduced its operations to a large extent. As per the credible sources, the company was mainly working with Under Armour brand; it added Bed Bath & Beyond (BBB) also but could not sustain. Earlier there was staff of nearly 40 persons in the buying house, which has now reduced to less than 10. The sources further added that the company gave enough time and support to its staff to change their job due to shrinking business, and hence the staff redundancy. It is also trying to slowly rebuild itself now. Anju Singh, Director of the company said to Apparel Online, “Yes business is down compared to last year.” But she refused to share any other input.
Some of the buying houses downsized their business in India, and as well transferred their sourcing operations to Bangladesh. Roopak Malik, MD, Textiles Sourcing Limited told, “I have greatly downsized the agency business as the margins are too low now and lead times are getting too difficult. I don’t do anything in India but am doing for Bangladesh in men’s trousers, shirts and sweaters and that too for 3-4 customers only.” Currently Roopak is involved in teaching modules for apparel exports management for a fashion institute in Hyderabad and in Dhaka, doing consultancy projects. Impulse, one of the most trusted names in Indian buying houses, also went for some consolidation. As per confirmed sources, “Earlier all the teams of Impulse were working in isolation as all the buyers, accounts were being managing in isolated way. Now everybody has come together as consolidate – be it design team, fabric team, factory basis, etc. Now resources are shared with each other, and the central team is having proper and required coordination.” In a reply to Apparel Online’s email, Sunil Arora, MD of the company said, “In principle, Impulse never comments, nor shares information on internal policies & practices.” The company also started working recently for the Korean, Middle East and Japanese markets, which were unexplored so far for the company. So far, the response from these markets is not very enthusiastic as these markets are quite tough. “Things have starting moving, and hopefully it should do well,” sources said.
Some top buying houses are also reducing staff at the regional offices, especially mid-level professionals.