Apparel units yet to see full recovery: Survey

Business Standard,

Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the apparel and fashion accessories sector still face a number of bottlenecks, according to a survey conducted by IndiaMART Knowledge Services.

Only 38.1 per cent of the SME respondents stated that the market picked up in 2010, while 14.3 per cent found it to be worse than 2009. Significantly, almost half, 47.62 per cent, observed no change in the market in 2010 as compared to 2009.

About 28.6 per cent of respondents reported that consumer sentiment had risen beyond their expectations, while 23.8 per cent still found it negative. Almost half, 47.6 per cent, stated that there was an average rise in consumer sentiment in 2010.

However, sales improved. Some 23.8 per cent of respondents stated that there was an increase in sales of more than 20 per cent in 2010 compared to 2009, while 52.4 per cent said the increase was less than 20 per cent. Likewise, 19 per cent of respondents said export demand rose by more than 20 per cent, while 52.4 per cent said the increase was less than 20 per cent.

On product prices, only 19 per cent reported a significant increase, while 42.8 per cent reported a marginal improvement. More 57.1 per cent reported increases in input costs.

Major areas that hamper the growth of SMEs in the sector are the liquidity crunch and poor response from consumers, reported by around 85 per cent of respondents.