The garment manufacturers and retailers struggle to keep their businesses alive, ahead of the Bengali New Year.
April 13, 2020
West Bengal: Due to the pandemic and lockdown, garment retailers and manufacturers who waited for the ‘Chaitra sale’ or the annual shopping festival of Bengalis, ahead of the ‘Poila Baishakh’ (Bengali New Year) are at a loss this year. It is the most awaited festival for Bengalis, after the Durga Puja, which is fetches high profit for the businesses.
The pandemic has affected them badly and their goods are lying in warehouses, accumulating dust.
Mamoni Poddar, a garment shop owner in Nadia District of West Bengal said: “We stocked up things way before the lockdown as we were looking forward to the sale. But, now everything looks uncertain. With zero sales, we don’t know how we are going to manage. My son’s education is on stakes too as I don’t have proper income to support that right now.”
Echoing the same thought, other shopkeepers also added that even if the lockdown is lifted after 30th April, it is going to be tough for them to increase the sales as in the time of crisis, people won’t be concerned about buying clothes.
The sale attracts a lot of people from all over the state, leading to a bulk order of clothes, which ensures a profitable time for the tailors as well. Kana Sarkar whose only source of income is tailoring said: “On normal days I get orders worth Rs 1000 to Rs1200. Poila Boishak guarantees more income. However, right now everything has come to a halt. I’m unable to earn a single penny.”
The absence of buyers has lead to wholesalers not purchasing anything from the manufacturers.
Sagnik Paul of Priya textiles said: “Due to lockdown, wholesalers have not bought anything because of which our stocks are piling up. We don’t know how and when these items will get cleared out. There is no proper income right now.”
Manufacturers also mentioned that out of the total sales in a financial year for the market, 20 percent to 30 percent comes from the New Year’s sale.
Consumers informed that buying clothes amid the economic crisis in the country is their least priority.
Susweta Biswas, a freelancer and resident of North 24 Pargana, West Bengal said: “No one knows what the economic condition will be in the upcoming months irrespective of whether the pandemic stays or not. So, I don’t think people, especially the middle-class will spend money buying things they don’t need.”
Picture Courtesy : Just Dial