Local chain of garment products Ludhiana Direct Factory Outlet (LDFO) that has some major brands associated with it is dying a slow death with all of its three showrooms in Ludhiana shutting down after suffering huge losses.
LDFO showrooms had started operations in the city four years back and were doing average business since, but suddenly suffered losses thereafter.
Now, only three showrooms in Khanna, Amritsar and Baddi in Himachal Pradesh are still operating, but are also facing the threat of shut down. A total of six LDFO showrooms had come up in which goods sourced directly from different garments factories of Ludhiana were stored for sale.
Top brands, including Octave, Monte Carlo, Bluemount, Madame, Rage, Dove, W&T, Juelle, Ziama, Shingora, Sharman Shawls, among others, had collaborated with the LDFO and were stocking their material at these showrooms at factory prices.
The stores were the brainchild of Knitwear Club secretary Charanjiv Singh, besides some other industrialists.
“Most of the products at LDFO stores were woollens that caused a huge damage as it limited the business to only winter season. No store could sustain the losses,” said Charanjiv.
“Initially, we were doing good business, but with time, business declined. The showrooms had high-end products, which may be why few people visited the LDFO stores,” he added.
Most of the major brands have pulled out of the venture as a result the remaining LDFO showrooms are now facing crunch. Employees at these showrooms were hired from a consultancy agency.
Sudershan Jain, president of Knitwear and Apparel Manufacturers Association of Ludhiana (KAMAL), said garment retailing was a major issue nowadays, when there were several online shopping portals. “Retailing system is changing and even big brands are facing the heat,” he said.
He added that due to entry of several national and multinational retail chains, the customers had been distributed, making it difficult for a retail store to sustain.
“Ludhiana needs huge market space for products related to garment industry. Moscow in Russia has sprawling market areas where business related to the industry is done,” Jain said.