COVID-19 crisis is likely to result in a $9 trillion loss for economies worldwide. Many developed economies like Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Great Britain and US and several nations of G7 may go into recession with chances of recovery from April 2021 onwards. These countries are fighting this deadly pandemic by coming out of the lockdown in a slow and sustained manner. In India, the government has allowed partial lifting of lockdown for various businesses in the Green Zone and restricted lifting in Orange Zone which will be followed by lifting of lockdown conditions on several other businesses.

To gauge the impact of lockdown on manufacturers, Lace n Lingerie conducted a survey among 300 manufactures of intimate wear, nightwear, loungewear, athleisure, men’s innerwear from Mumbai, Delhi, Tirupur, Coimbatore, Ghaziabad, Ludhiana, Bangalore, Kochi, Chennai etc. The survey was conducted from April 10-17, 2020.

Lingerie businesses to shrink by 60 per cent

About 50 per cent respondents opined their businesses will shrink between 21 to 40 per cent while about 25 per cent expected it to shrink by up to 60 perLingerie business shrinks but demand to rise cent. However, around 20 per cent respondents did not expect the lockdown to impact their business in any way.

Around 3 per cent respondents expected their businesses to stabilize within three to six months post lockdown, however 21. 5 per cent expected the recovery to come within three months. However, a majority of respondents, around 36 per cent, expected recovery in 6 to 12 months or more.

Brands to reduce staff and salaries

To tide over expenses incurred due to the lockdown, about 18 per cent stated they would try and reduce staff salaries while 11 per cent planned to reduce staff, travel, space and even marketing and branding expenses. They also planned to lower their rentals by up to 29 per cent.

Around 79 per cent respondents sought government support to maintain the current level of staff if the lockdown persisted further. Almost 63 per cent revealed cancellations to prior orders. However, 39 per cent did not mention any order cancellations, which augurs well for this sector recovering well before the other sectors of the garment industry.

Future bright as demand to rise

As intimate wear is a need-based functional item, the lockdown has also led to a huge rise in demand as people prefer to dress in loungewear, boxer shorts, bermudas, pajamas and basic bras and panties and underwear during this period.

Around 21 per cent view order cancellations to be a result of stock correction with distributors and retailers likely to reorder or perhaps order more from the same brand over more basic and VFM items. The survey revealed, consumers may defer purchasing intimate wear for a week or so but will definitely return to the market in times to come.