According to KPMG, the wedding industry in India has become a US $ 50 billion market. On reaching this mark, the country is now the second biggest after USA. However, with the pandemic, every Indian wedding, which would easily be a Rs. 5-6 crore worth of week-long event, has now been reduced to a close knit celebration. With virtual weddings becoming the ‘new normal’, the market size has shrunk.
However, the industry is eyeing a recovery. Will the wedding bells bring back the old sheen to this segment? Let’s explore…
When asked about the wedding season buzz in the market, Laksheeta Govil, Founder, Fizzy Goblet, mentioned, “Juttis have been a popular form of footwear because of their functionality. With brides especially, juttis are the go-to choice of footwear, as they style effortlessly with traditional outfits and are extremely comfortable. Indian handcrafts are quite loved by people abroad. We have always received great support from our international clients, but with the pandemic in place, the numbers have slightly lowered.”
Fizzy Goblet is known to retail handcrafted juttis and the brand employs varied techniques like embroidery to bring its regal wedding collection to the market. A celebrity favourite too, the brand has been expanding their offline reach even during the lockdown. When talking about the trend she is sensing within the market, Laksheeta said, “Distinctive and easy-going styles have been driving the fashion industry forward for the last couple of months and we expect to see a reflection of that with the festive and bridal markets as well. E-commerce allows one to send gifts to their loved ones without having to step out of their homes. With Diwali and weddings being festive and a season of gifting, we expect a rise of orders as compared to previous months.”
At the same time, designer Gaurang Shah shared, “The response is heartwarming, yet it is not like what it was pre-pandemic. The good thing is as we opened our e-stores for women, men and kids, the potential to reach out to new clients has widened far and beyond. We are also able to curate our new collections more swiftly so that customers get quick access to new collections. The footprints on stores are also gradually increasing. We are optimistic that the new normal will be very promising as we go forward.”
Overcoming the challenge
Like every other sector, the fashion and apparel industry is also bearing the consequences, mentioned designer Kanika Sharma, adding, “It’s a very challenging time for everyone, and we all are getting used to the new normal. The orders have started coming, and slowly but surely, things are picking up, but the impact and effect are not like the usual. Those who have weddings in their families are celebrating as they are entitled to their needs, but there’s a difference in quantity. By quantity, I mean sales in numbers, and everyone is concerned about how less it can be essential for the current time. People outside India have always given an incredible response, especially when it comes to Indianwear and occasional clothing. May be in India, wedding has always been larger than life and a considerable affair, and overseas people have been doing the same things they used to perform earlier. There’s a considerable shift in plans, as so many things can’t be done. Destination weddings have been replaced with small intimate weddings. There are limited amounts of gathering permitted. It’s not just the inviters’ set, but the invitees are also not keen to attend for safety reasons, and therefore, only what’s essential and needed is taking place,” Kanika further added.
Yashraj Bhaiya, Founder, Label Varsha, resonated with Kanika’s thoughts, “This time of the year is always one of extravagance and people never shy away from a celebration. This somehow is really good for the business. With everything going digital, we are happy with the orders received and excited to see what comes along in the upcoming season. In India, weddings and festivities will always be a time to indulge in beautiful things, be it gifts or outfits for a particular occasion. Mentalities and spending plans have definitely seen a shift, but with festivities around the corner, we look forward to a good season ahead. As far as international orders are concerned, we hope to see a rise in the coming months. With all processes of the supply chain at a standstill, sales took quite a dip. As the unlock gradually happened, a rise in the sale graph was seen again. India, being a country that holds festivals very close to their hearts, we can expect a somewhat normal festive season in terms of orders.”
Yashraj assured that even with the concept of smaller weddings in place, sales may not be affected much, as people like to spend without bounds during this time. While talking about expectations from the market, Kanika said, “To be very honest and candid, right now, the expectation is none. The only thing is to be visible and having an existence. But I do feel that since there has been no shopping and spending on any luxuries and no holidays, people will buy for sure and may buy less, conscious of making mindful purchases than over consumptions! I feel that our generation is very mindful and precise. The trend of close-knit weddings grew over time; even celebrities are endorsing this trend. It is reaching out to everyone and appealing to most of us. This trend is to stay and will more likely grow and sustain. People are acknowledging the value of money and less wastage.”