Shopping for clothes almost normalized again in Q4FY21; more lifestyle, Pantaloons stores will open this year

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From January to March of this year, retailers saw almost normal consumer behavior. (Representative image)

With the advent of 2021, more people went shopping for the new apparel, underwear, and shoes. Early last year, with the Covid-19 outbreak, people had slowed their shopping for clothes. At the beginning of this year, however, there were more and more people interested in new clothes and shoes. In the final quarter of FY21, clothing stores saw a nearly 100 percent recovery, brokerage firm Anand Rathi said in a recently released report. From January to March this year, retailers recorded almost normal consumer behavior; The brands also launched fresh goods in the three-month period. The report added that this is expected to be the result of the backlog from last year.

With apparel sales soaring, especially underwear, the brands have decided to add more retail stores across the country. Aditya Birla Fashion & Retail plans to add an additional 300-400 lifestyle stores in the current fiscal year to expand retail store access for more consumers in the country. At the end of FY21, Lifestyle had 2,379 stores in India. While the retail store added 383 new stores over the course of the year, it also closed 247 unavailable stores, the report highlights.

Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, Pantaloons was able to add 19 more stores last year and is planning to set up 60 more retail stores. As of now, Pantaloons will serve people’s clothing demand from 346 stores. Similarly, TCNS Clothing will add 60 additional stores, along with VMart, which is expected to open 40 more retail stores in FY22.

However, the second wave of Covid-19 has become an obstacle to people’s shopping spree, and the effects are likely to be seen in the quarter ended June 2021.

Meanwhile, the research note said that not only clothing retailers but shoe brands were also seeing a recovery. Shoe companies like Relaxo and Khadim have seen a shift in consumers choosing shoes that are good value for money. People’s demand to buy new shoes also normalized between January and March, but this was also disrupted by the second waves of lockdowns of Covid-19.

Once all restrictions are lifted, people are expected to start buying new clothes and shoes again. However, the uncertainties about further bans due to the expected third wave are still there.

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