Mumbai: Big apparel brands like Raymonds, Louis Phillipe, Van Heusen and Zodiac became bigger, while small-and medium-sized brands saw their sales decline in fiscal year 2015, according to a report released by the clothing manufacturers’ association of India (CMAI).

Small brands are identified as companies with revenues of up to 25 crore and mid-sized brands are those with revenues of 25 crore-100 crore. These companies were hurt because of poor sales during the festive period and pile-up of inventory, said the report.

The CMAI study was conducted on 100 brands, of which 44 were identified as small brands and 21 as medium-sized. The remaining were large brands of which nine were giant brands that performed the best. “Small and medium brands contribute close to 70% of the apparel industries turnover," said Harminder Sahni, founder and managing director of Wazir Advisors, a retail consultancy firm that has worked on the report for CMAI.

“Since Diwali, sales were not good and unsold stocks had to be carried over to the January-March quarter. Hence, we didn’t build enough fresh stock, which affected sales in this quarter," said Amit Tanna, proprietor of Custom Jeans, in the report. He added that the company’s sales were also hit by increasing denim prices during the year.

Meanwhile, big brands had huge end-of-season sales and maintained their control on the inventory. For instance, Arrow, reduced inventory holding in the March quarter on account of better planning. The same was true for Monte Carlo.

“Better inventory planning and planning sales ‘on target’ has worked for us. We have been monitoring and measuring the response month-on-month. We have also reduced the number of options as well as optimised our product basket," an Arrow spokesperson said in the report.

However, brands are optimistic about the future, thanks to improving consumer sentiment and market conditions. About 18.7% brands believe the April-June 2015 quarter will be excellent and 40.7% believe it will be good, while 37.5% believe it will be average. Only 3.1% believe it will be below average, said the report.

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