Even after the ease in the restrictions of the lockdown amid the pandemic COVID-19, the fashion industry continues to struggle.
Jain Amar Clothing sells women’s fashion wear under the Madame Brand which has over 156 stores across malls and other places. After the ease of the lockdown two weeks ago, they reopened 32 of their store on high streets of Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, and Delhi.
Akhil Jain, the executive director of Jain Amar Clothing said that “So far the news is not as good as needed for business sustenance. We now have a fair idea of what is selling and how much is selling. Consumers are buying only select products and there is only 8 percent of the sale now than that of the earlier sale”.
Yet Mr Akhil Jain keeps his stores open to study consumer behaviour. He said that “Most fashion retailers I have spoken to had written off May completely. So, whatever we are getting is a bonus”.
Jain instead of glooming over the decline in sales, became productive in his business with the research of customer behaviour in the fashion sector. After spending three to four hours at a couple of outlets in Delhi, he has got a fairly good idea of the situation. Formal wear has no takers. Of the 16 clothing categories he stocks, only T-shirts, pyjamas and night suits are selling. However, the conversion rate is more than 90%. This means those who are walking in are buying something.
The choice of Madame clothing is no different on online platforms such as Amazon, Myntra, and Ajio.
Akhil Jain quoted that “Our nightwear is all sold out. I had to manufacture more stuff to feed demand. Earlier, we never used to sell nightwear online,”
He also shared that online sales could have spiked if the platforms were offering cash-on-delivery, but most are avoiding this to practice social distancing and promote digital payments and contactless delivery.
However, if the COVID-19 crisis passes the situation will come to the previous state as it is found that most consumers like to purchase clothes from stores rather than e-commerce sites.