Expects Tk1,200 crore turnover this season
Rashed, a young boy working at a small wholesale shop at Keraniganj Garment Village, was found replacing panjabees with winter clothes for babies in the showcase of the outlet.
Within hours the outlet, Silpayer Fashion, turned from a panjabee shop into a shop that sells winter garments for babies.
Visiting the garment hub, this correspondent found that around 80% of the 6,000 outlets inside it are now selling winter wears.
Walking around the outlets, one may think that the hub is only for selling winter wears, as no other products are on display. Things would be like this for at least three months, from November to January, a number of traders said.
Sazib Ahmed, a wholesaler at the Century City Complex, said: “Winter clothing came into the market and eventually drove out other types of garments.”
He said that he usually sold pants throughout the year and added that with the approach of winter season he was now selling women's winter wears only as the demand for these types of garments would remain high throughout the winter season.
Abul Kashem, another wholesaler of readymade garments, said that the garment hub primarily enjoyed two peak seasons — Eid and the winter. “No one wants to miss making high profits from sales in Eid and winter seasons,” he said.
“Almost all the wholesalers inside the garment hub are now ready for supplying winter wears to the country’s retail markets,” Abul Kashem said, while adding that selling other types of garments is not profitable during the winter season.
Uninterrupted works in factories
Workers in readymade garment manufacturing units inside the Keraniganj hub are now very busy with their respective and assigned work at various stages of manufacturing process of winter clothing; their work involve, among others, making various designs on the cloths, cutting and sewing.
As the winter season is setting in, workers in the factories are working without interruption till nine at night starting at eight o’clock in the morning.
A number of readymade garments manufacturers at the hub said that they had orders for significant quantities of winter clothing to be delivered immediately.
“I am presently delivering 48 dozens of garments every week, twice the quantity I was delivering a few days ago,” said Rashed, owner of a garment factory at the hub.
He has been making ladies' jackets over the last one and half month. Now, he is going to make tops and frocks, as well, for use during winter season.
Like Rashed, majority of the 4,000 small and medium manufactures of readymade garments, having about 8,000 units manufacturing units, are now engaged in manufacturing winter clothing.
Collecting clothes and raw material from different sources, they are making different types of winter wears including sweaters, jackets, blazers, jeans shirts, T-shirts, polo-shirts, ladies coat, gloves, socks, long-sleeve tops, trousers and cardigans.
Tk1, 200 crore sales expected
According to the Keraniganj Garment Traders and Shop Owners Cooperative Association, last year the garment hub sold winter clothes worth Tk1,000 crore.
“This year, we expect at least 20% growth in sales,” said Sheikh Kawsar, president of the association.
“Garment traders here believe (backed by their experience) that winter intensifies once in every four years. As the last three winters were not that intense and were short-lived, we think this time it will be intense and long-lasting,” he said and added that the business of selling winter wears depended on the intensity of winter and its duration.
Readymade garment traders and bankers stationed at the garment hub said presently proceeds from sales of winter clothes at the hub ranged between Tk40 crore and Tk50 crore daily, and was expected rise to Tk60/70 crore by the end of November.
The wholesale prices of winter wears depend on the fabrics they are made of, their quality and design. Besides, prices vary from brand to brand.
At the garment hub, wholesale prices of winter wears for men range from Tk300 to Tk1,000, while blazers and leather jackets for men are selling between Tk800 and Tk3,000 apiece.
Ladies' winter wears (including coats, jackets, and sweaters) are selling at Tk150-12,000 per piece, while winter wears for babies between Tk100 and Tk1,000 per piece.