a year ago

RMG sector's local brands

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Against the backdrop of adversities facing the country's RMG exports, prompted especially by the festering impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, the local apparel makers have enjoyed a serendipitous windfall in fashion wear sales this Eid. Most of the fanciful young customers on the lookout for dresses suiting the Eid festivity didn't have to return home dejected. Following an otherwise dull apparel market, lasting throughout the 2020-2021 pandemic years, there have been plenty of sleekly designed dresses on offer this year. Credits for this pleasant break go to over a dozen export-oriented readymade garment (RMG) makers. All of them have brought to the market their own local brands.

As anticipated, their outlets didn't fail to draw curious buyers on the days of hectic Eid shopping. A plain truth was at work behind the revival of the long invisible RMG market selling apparel items under the category of local brands --- the objective being recouping the recent losses incurred in the readymade garment sector. Marketing the apparel products manufactured by local RMG brands, once representing Western buyers like H&M, Walmart, JC Penny, Marks & Spencer etc and their purchase by enthusiastic local clients bode well for the country's apparel sector. The prospects have been echoed by the Managing Director of a local brand associated with a RMG manufacturer. He "termed 2022 a year of bouncing back" referring to the "Ramadan business".  Catering to the local taste and sales through the local outlets by manufactures of RMG products could be termed an ingenious way of sticking to the business. For instance, the parent organisation Evince Group plans to remain in the market through its local brand 'Noir'. According to the company, it did a 'roaring business' in the 2022 Eid-ul-Fitr market, and started planning for the Eid-ul-Azha collection. Terming the recent Eid sales 'phenomenal', it called the customers' response 'beyond expectations'.

That more than a dozen export-oriented RMG companies have entered the market with their local brands is a major development. Market observers detect the resilience of the country's apparel sector in this strategy, as well as their objective to remain strong amid the fallout of the Russia-Ukraine conflict. Bangladesh remains committed to global expansion of its apparel market, the impediments notwithstanding. After the 2013 withdrawal of the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) by a large RMG importer, Bangladesh still goes tolerably strong. By turning to the last-ditch efforts in marketing RMG products through the parent companies' local brands like 'Sara', 'Klubhaus',`O-Code' , 'Twelve',` Miniso Bangladesh', 'Yellow', 'Texmart', 'Sailor', 'Trendz' and a lot of others, the country's fledgling apparel market is in a desperate search for footing. Companies like Beximco, Giant, Babylon, Amber, Pride Group, Milon Garment, Smart Jeans Ltd et al have already made their presence felt in the domestic apparel market.

RMG sector observers are hopeful of Bangladesh's chance of getting back its former premier status among buyers in the RMG-importing nations. The two-year duration of the Covid-19 pandemic has reportedly sapped the inherent strength out of many large RMG-exporting countries. Decline in normal output in the countries repeatedly hit by the corona pandemic might prompt the large apparel importing countries to turn to their old trading partners like Bangladesh.

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