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Retail growth in Pakistan slows down

According to Javed Siddiqi, Director, Stylo-a ladies footwear, prêt and accessories brand, the uneven strategies adopted by large export-based textile groups in Pakistan followed by non-textile retailers is affecting the fashion retail segment in the country.

Javed Siddiqi noted that retail growth in the country has slowed down and currently ranges between 8 per cent and 10 per cent, with the potential to rise once again but with some changes. The decline in growth rate was the combination of many factors, some of which were the result of government’s policies and a few due to the industry’s own practices.

According to Siddiqi, the retail sector’s business calendar runs for almost 330 days. Of these, various brands offer discounts for 220 to 250 days, which leaves a mere 80 to 100 days in a year for them to display and sell their products at the full price range, putting almost all major brands under pressure. Many brands fail to learn the retail phenomenon, which gives profits in the first year, but in the following years, many retailers overbuy to maintain inventory, which causes serious cash flow issues and they opt to clear their stock under the banner of sales.

He emphasised the need for developing new retail clusters across Pakistan, so the pressure on mega cities may ease and shift to other retail clusters.