The National Garment Fairs (NGFs) conducted by CMAI (Clothing Manufacturers Association of India) have, over the last several decades, become one of the most important events in the calendar of the domestic garment industry. Innumerable brands have been launched during the NGFs (as they are popularly called), and manufacturers plan their production around the dates of the NGFs, as do retailers their buying for the season.
The current Covid-19 crisis makes the holding of events of the size and scale of NGFs impossible. With travel between cities, interaction between manufacturers and retailers, and distribution of samples across various centres becoming an extremely difficult if not viable option, CMAI has come up with the unique concept of a virtual fair, where buyers and sellers would meet digitally to showcase and see the samples from the safety of their offices, showrooms, and homes.
In what could be the first digital fair in the domestic garment industry, CMAI’s 71st National Garment Fair – ONLINE, will be held from 10th to the 20th September. The 71st NGF will have over 250 participants, and close to 20,000 retailers are expected to visit the fair digitally.
This fair is being organised in partnership with UDAAN, India’s leading B2B e-commerce platform having the largest distribution network for retailers, wholesalers, brands and manufacturers across multiple categories. Udaan’s marketplace services include credit, logistics, marketing and sales support to buyers and sellers on its platform, facilitating efficient and convenient transactions across the country.
Minister for Textiles, Smriti Zubin Irani, will launch the fair, on 10th September.
Current market situation
According to CMAI Apparel Consumption Study, conducted with the assistance of A.C. Nielson, India’s premier market research agency, the size of the domestic market before Covid-19 crisis stood at Rs 6.5 lakh crore. The survey was conducted over a sample size of 80,000 plus households.
CMAI estimates that the consumption will go down by approximately 30% in the year 2020-2021. Various surveys conducted by CMAI over the last few months also indicate at least 20% of respondents shutting business unless markets improve substantially. It is estimated that most manufacturers have also planned a reduction in employee strength by 20% to 25%.
The biggest issue confronting the domestic market is the slow recovery of consumer sentiment, and hence the strong decline in domestic sales. The market is expected to revive to around 70% of previous year’s levels by the 3rd quarter, with the festive season setting in. It is to take advantage of this partial recovery that CMAI is planning the 71st NGF, and it is expected to kickstart the season once again.