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Ahead of GST rollout, retailers advance sale season to offer steeper discounts

LiveMint logoLiveMint 28-06-2017 Soumya Gupta

Mumbai: Consumer goods retailers in India, particularly apparel retailers, advanced their regular sale season this year from mid-July to mid-June to clear out stocks before the goods and services tax (GST) is rolled out this Friday, and avoid imposition of transition rules.

“Retailers have actually preponed their sales from mid-July to now, because the entire Diwali season this year is also almost a month early,” said Kumar Rajagopalan, chief executive officer of the Retailers’ Association of India. “GST coincided with this change in seasons, making it easier to prepone sales.”

Similarly, malls have been bringing brand retailers on board to advance their specific annual season sales.

For instance, Infiniti Mall in Mumbai’s Malad suburb has rescheduled its one-day half-off “mega sale” to end of June this year. “We are delighted that year on year more than 100 brands across categories like apparel, footwear, sportswear, and accessories etc. take part in this grand event,” said Mukesh Kumar, senior vice-president of Infiniti Malls in an email statement. “Having said that, as part of our unwavering commitment towards the benefit of our esteemed patrons we serve, Infiniti is excited to introduce this year season sale just before GST rollout.”

Also read: Ready or not, businesses brace for GST implementation

Brands taking part in this sale include apparel majors like AND, Calvin Klein Jeans, Levi’s, Pantaloons and others. “Many brands are slashing prices to liquidate merchandise, advancing end of season sale before GST is rolled out,” Kumar said in the email statement, adding that retailers are carefully controlling their inventory before the GST is rolled out.

Other retailers, too, started the discount season early on to ensure they clear their stocks. “This was a 3-week long sale, has been our highest rate so far, and now we are almost completely cleared of our stocks,” said Nilesh Gupta, managing director of electronics goods retailer Vijay Sales. “This was our highest ever discount, it is generally at 10-15% but this time it has been at 25-30%,” he said, adding that new stocks will now come in by 5 or 6 July.

“The idea was always to go into the GST with minimum stock because getting a refund is a very tedious process and it blocks working capital as well,” Gupta

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