Mumbai-based Raymond Ltd., one of the world’s biggest producers of worsted wool fabric used to make quality suits, is slashing jobs by more than a third as people are home-bound on account of the coronavirus outbreak.
The fabric-maker is reducing jobs, rents, and marketing costs to decrease expenses by as much as 35% for the financial year started April 1, stated Chairman Gautam Hari Singhania in a virtual interview last week as per a media report. It has also sought to freeze loan repayments under a one-time program offered by the central bank.
“Raymond has taken this as an opportunity to re-set,” Singhania said. “What we know is this is a crisis and we will stand strong.”
The cuts come as the shift to online engagements has affected the demand for business clothing worldwide. This has also led to the two-century-old Brooks Brothers Group Inc. being pushed into bankruptcy this month. Similarly, Raymond has seen its shares suffer the biggest drop among global peers this year. Shops and offices in many parts of the country are still shuttered., which has further affected the fabric maker's business.
Sales fell 29% in April-March and excluding the impact of the pandemic and a correction in Raymond inventory, revenue for the firm dropped 1% compared with the same period a year earlier. While the company has re-opened 1,332 out of 1,638 stores as of July 2, it is seeing about 45% of pre-pandemic sales as per reports by Antique Stock Broking Ltd.
At the moment, Raymond is using its Bengaluru factory to manufacture personal protective equipment for health workers, Singhania stated. Given that work from home will continue this year for many firms and the pandemic is still to be reined in, the next few months are likely to be tough on the fabric-maker.