Consumer goods: How lockdown 4.0 was different

From fast food and athleisure to ACs, the demand for several non-discretionary items has spiked since May 17, when Lockdown 4.0 was extended till May 31.

If the first three phases of the nationwide lockdown left marketers of non-discretionary products gasping for sales, the fourth phase breathed life into a choked consumer goods segment.

From fast food and athleisure to air conditioners (ACs), the demand for several non-discretionary items has spiked since May 17, when Lockdown 4.0 was extended till May 31.

 

Executives at sportswear major Puma India, for instance, are witnessing jump in sales of performance wear and athleisure.

A majority of white-collar workers – normally bound by dress codes – are not letting the pandemic crimp their style, even as they are trading business trousers for sweatpants and stiff blazers for hoodies.

Comfortwear in these uncomfortable times is the new normal being embraced by the work-from-homers.

Despite Puma being allowed to open less than a third of its stores (100 out of 370), the German sportswear brand has registered 10 per cent rise in sales of apparel, compared to pre-Covid days.

According to Abhishek Ganguly, managing director (MD) at Puma India, the share of workout gear in its portfolio has gone up substantially.

“People have become more cautious about fitness and the need to stay healthy.

“The demand for fitness and training products, and performance wear, such as trackpants, trainers, and sports bras, has jumped. We are already getting 75 per cent of business from the stores that have opened,” said Ganguly.

Since markets in the red zones in major metros of the country have opened for e-commerce deliveries, sales through the online channel have also spiked 15 per cent.

Puma used to get 30 per cent of its revenue from e-commerce before lockdown.

Despite the rise in food delivery and out-of-home consumption in recent years, few would have considered the unleavened bread  becoming the pantry staple in the lockdown.

Not to be left behind in the race to make dough, quick-service restaurants (QSRs), too, want a slice of the lockdown trade.

At Pizza Hut, sales have surged 30-50 per cent.

“Wherever we have opened – be it Bengaluru or Delhi – we have witnessed significant surge in demand.

“Since hygiene is a primary factor in for consumers, they tend to rely more on trusted brands.

“However, tethering issues like movement of employees and delivery personnel, especially in border areas, have impacted…

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