New Delhi: Consumers resisted buying new clothes and swapped formal, occasion wear with comfort clothing as the pandemic prompted them to spend more time indoors.
As a result, India’s apparel market was down 27% from Rs4,129 billion in 2019 to ₹3,022 billion in 2020, according to estimates by the Boston Consulting Group released Wednesday.
“In apparel, comfort wear categories like athleisure are witnessing significant acceleration owing to 'work from home' and fitness needs of consumers. Role of traditional media as an influencer has got diminished in this category post-covid with social media and other online channels emerging as dominant influencer," the report said.
Indian apparel market most hit by covid is making a gradual comeback, it said.
Despite a 27% drop in size in 2020, market expected to come back strongly driven by a range of consumer and supply side factors, it added. BCG expects the apparel market to touch ₹5,781 billion by 2024.
But the category is expected to witness some long-term shifts among the heightened consumer dependence on social media and e-commerce.
The report said that consumer wardrobe will continue to move towards more casual wear with a greater focus on athleisure. It also highlighted the increasing influence of social media and websites on the fashion choices and buying habits of consumers.
However, it said that despite increased dependence on e-commerce stores will remain relevant too.
In apparel, athleisure category is seeing market-beating growth and has accelerated the ongoing trend of casualization of wardrobe. Traditional media’s role as influencer has decreased significantly in this category, BCG said. It expects the athleisure category to report a CAGR of 20-25% in the next five years.
BCG also reported 1.2 times jump in instances of e-commerce buyers in the category with more affluent shoppers moving to buying clothing online. Pre-pandemic, only 7% of India’s affluent shoppers bought clothes online—the number has now moved up to 10%.
In its report, however, BCG also noted that India’s consumption trajectory has been dented by the impact of covid-19. The lockdowns and subsequent restrictions on movement is expected to delay the growth of India’s over retail market by 1 to 2 years.
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