Apparel retailer Madame is expecting a 40 per cent decline in revenue in the current financial year due to disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The company may also end up giving up to 20 per cent of retail space (shut stores) if the situation does not improve in the current September quarter.

“There is a slow rise in business number post lockdown. With uncertainty and ad-hoc restrictions being imposed every day across major cities, the impact is fairly visible with the consumer preferring to stay inside… We expect a 40 per cent reduction in business numbers seeing how the market has behaved in the first quarter and 2 weeks of the second quarter,” Madame Executive Director Akhil Jain told .

Madame has reported a turnover of Rs 275 crore for 2019-20.

Jain said, at present Madame has over 150 standalone stores and 600 multi-brand stores and about 85 per cent of its standalone retail stores are now operational.

“We are trying to maintain the retail space by liaisoning with landlords. Most of them have supported the brand so far in terms of reduction in…rentals or change to revenue share models. If the second quarter doesn’t show considerable numbers, then we may end up giving up to 20 per cent retail space,” he added.

Jain said prior to the disruptions caused by COVID-19, the company had planned to open 20 new stores in the current fiscal, out of which 7 are already under fit-outs.

Jain said consumer preference has changed significantly and hi-fashion isn’t in demand today.

“Comfort wear, loungewear, and athleisure that were smaller categories for any fashion brand have significantly gained momentum. We have introduced a range for work-from-home fashion to elevate some numbers,” he added.

Jain said fashion masks have also become a category and are expected to stay for another 2-3 quarters.

“We are soon coming up with a new collection of coordinated t-shirts and masks in August. Styles in loungewear and nightwear will see an increase in the coming quarter,” he added.