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Formalwear back in fashion as normalcy returns

Sales of formalwear and officewear had dropped significantly as the Covid-19 pandemic gripped the country and consumers were forced to stay indoors.

March 29, 2022 / 06:45 PM IST
Representative image

Representative image

Apparel retailers have witnessed a surge in demand for formalwear as life returns to normal and consumers flock back to offices. Retailers such as Raymond, Westside and e-commerce marketplace Myntra have witnessed a steady increase in demand for officewear since January. Myntra reported that sales in the category have doubled in the last three months. Raymond, which saw a contraction in the category as the pandemic struck the country, says sales have now recovered to pre-COVID levels.

“Pre-Diwali we were at about 65-70 percent of FY20 levels in the formalwear category and still 30 percent below pre-COVID. During the festive period, we recovered about 85 percent. However, in February, we were back at pre-pandemic levels,” said Bidyut Bhanjdeo, Head - sales, large format stores and e-commerce, lifestyle business – Raymond.

The surge in sales, said Bhanjdeo, is on account of offices reopening and also weddings, which see huge sales of men’s formalwear.

Westside, too, reported a similar trend. “Remote working in loungewear during the pandemic has left professionals yearning for new wardrobes as they embrace hybrid working. We've definitely seen a jump in formalwear for both men’s and womenswear,” said Umashan Naidoo, head of customer, Westside – A Tata Enterprise.