Positive buying mood

After two years of subdued festivity – the first among the two being almost muted because of the global economic crisis – the enthusiasm this time around is hard to miss. This festive season, a beaming lot off consumer durables makers, jewelry retailers, garment manufacturers ad modern retailers have set double digit growth targets and are going the whole hog to grab consumer attention with new products and festive offers.

While on the one hand there is Raymond, which is all set to dole out combo gift packs in fabric and readymade. Park Avenue Autumn Winter 2010 too, is ready to usher in the festive fervor with occasion wear in rich colors, including jackets in metallic shades of fawns and grey.

Riding on the positive buying mood of customers is Godrej which has decided to offer cash back scheme giving the consumers a chance to win Rs 1 Lakh grand prize every day for 45 days starting October 1. Samsung India has come up with value added offers of its 3D televisions bundled with Bluray players, 3D glasses and movie CDs. Jewelry brands too, are hoping to outshine others with Tanishq attracting consumers with up to 25% discounts on diamond jewelry in select stores. The list is long really long.

Consumer sentiment is a lot stronger this year. MD Lifestyle International who is looking at a 50 -60% increase in sales over last year. The average selling points are holding out and buying has picked up. Overall there is growth across the categories.

Future’s Group‘s Pantaloon Retail started preparing for the festive season 12-18 months in advance. The company has not only revamped its entire design stage to bring it in line with prevailing trends, it has also altered co-ordination within stores and has also enhanced its vendor base to give it a pan India presence. Whether it is block prints from Jaipur or embroidered chikan suits from Lucknow, Pantaloon is sourcing from across India to offer a variety to consumers and ensure that he /she doesn’t leave the store without a purchase. Walk-ins are increasingly translating into purchases. The group is prepared to cater to the high growth trend.

Usually categories like apparel, furniture home décor, mobile and white goods are the top selling categories during the festive season. Future Group has planned higher volumes of merchandising and inventory to back this bullish sentiment and plans to roll out a specially designed merchandise range and targeted deals during this festival.

Growth numbers

Observing the high spirited consumer sentiments, companies are talking of double digit growth numbers this season. It seems that single digit growth has gone out of fashion. This year is looking different primarily because of the momentum in the market. We have seen 25-30% sales growth on alike to like basis from existing stores in the first quarter and I’m sure this trend will continue till the festive season. The optimism has come back. Garments which grew 50% in the first quarter of this year over the same period last year lead purely by organic growth and expansion of outlets and other department stores.

Raymond too is eyeing a 20-25% jump in sales over last year’s festive season. The year started well for us. We have seen 12-15% jump on sales compared to the same period last year. We are bullish about the ticket size up during Diwali.

In a bid to gear up for the season, Raymond is also setting up 100 new stores in tier III & IV towns before Diwali for an investment of Rs 80 crore.

Taking a clue fro its August Independence Day sale and Onam festival in Kerala the group expects sales to touch high this festival season. According to Biyani, the group witnessed a 20% plus sales groth during Onam and expects the same result from Durga Puja in the East.

The expected growth during festival is 25-30%. Samsung India company is looking at a 40% jump in sales over the last year corresponding period Flat Panel TVs, refrigerators and washing machines are among the items which he expects would lead the sales for the industry.

The growth in consumer electronics sector in the year so far has been healthy and that coupled with the general buoyancy in the consumer sentiment and the macro economic stability gives us confidence regarding the forth coming festive season.