Gujarat: Sale of school-related items like uniforms, bags down 70% | Ahmedabad News

AHMEDABAD: Fully dressed and nowhere to go! This seems to sum up the situation not only of a large number of students who continue to take online classes 16 months after the pandemic forced schools to close, but also reflects the grim plight of companies involved in the sale of dresses. school. and school bags.

Schools in Gujarat reopened four months ago, but attendance is very low. As a result, retailers of school dresses and satchels that rely heavily on the regular functioning of schools are unable to revive their businesses amid mounting losses.
While the onslaught of the pandemic has brought down the school clothing trade by 70%, estimated at an annual turnover of Rs 500 crore, the school bag trade estimated at Rs 1,000 crore per year is also faced with a similar type of business. losses.
Manthan Lala, owner of a chain of stores that mainly sells school uniforms and other items for schoolchildren, says his business has fallen by 70% as there are no new purchases of school dresses by parents for two successive school years. “Few schools today insist that their students wear school uniforms when taking online classes,” Lala said. Very few students come to buy new school uniforms as they continue to use their old clothes, he said.
For Kamlesh Jain, who sells school dresses and other clothes in his huge store in Vastral, the daily school dress counter which was Rs 50,000 has risen from Rs 10,000 to Rs 12,000 per day.
He says only some schools have made it mandatory for students to attend online classes wearing school uniforms. School dresses have an expiration date and every year we have to upgrade them according to new trends and school requirements, according to Jain. This is the case for school bags. “There are hardly any buyers for new school bags. The estimated market size in Gujarat is around Rs 1,000 crore and today the business is barely around Rs 300 crore. We have called on the state government to provide tax incentives and financial support for the industry which is struggling to stay afloat, ”said Ankit Shah, co-secretary of the Gujarat Bags Manufacturers and Wholesale Association.
There are more than 3,000 traders and retail store owners in the state suffering financial losses, he says. Many workers have turned to other industries because of the current situation. Khushal Vaswani, a wholesaler and manufacturer of satchels, said he had suffered heavy losses over the past two academic years. From an annual turnover of Rs 4 crore in the pre-pandemic period, his business is now reduced to a few lakh rupees per year.

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