The delayed onset of winter lead to weak demand for winter-related products in the December quarter but companies across categories said they have begun witnessing an uptick in demand in the past 10-15 days. While December was warmer than usual, in the past few days, temperatures have dipped as parts of North India have been facing a cold wave. 

Sunil Agarwal, Chairman of RSH Global, known for personal care brands such as Joy, said, “The warmer December did pose challenges in terms of stocking and sales during the quarter. However, there has been a noticeable uptick in sales towards late December and early January. The delayed winter has spurred an increased interest in our winter care range. We have witnessed positive uptick from semi-urban, rural markets indicating a positive trend in consumer preferences.”

Demand for winterwear apparel segment has also witnessed an uptick in the past few days. Harkirat Singh, MD, Aero Club, known for brands Woodland and Woods, said, “ In the past 2-3 years we have seen that the onset of winter has been delayed and this year too, we are seeing similar weather patterns. Since the past few days, there has been an uptick in demand for winter jackets and outerwear in North India. We hope to garner 10-15 per cent growth in the December- February period but it will depend on how weather patterns shapes up.” The second half of the fiscal post-Diwali, is a key contributor to the company’s overall revenues. 

“ Demand for winterwear has been lower than anticipated in North India due to delayed onset of winter season. If clothing retailers get saddled with winterwear stocks they may need to sell it at a discount which will adversely impact their profitability and ability to stock up for summer season,” said Rahul Mehta, Chief Mentor, Clothing Manufacturers Association of India.

Meanwhile, appliance companies are hoping the dip in temperatures seen in recent days will help clear the inventories of heating products on the retail shelves. 

Salil Kapoor, CEO, Hindware Home Innovation Ltd, said, “ We did see much demand for room heater in the third quarter. Even in early December, there was little demand. However, since last week of December and early January, we have seen a sudden spike in room heaters. This is almost double-digit growth in demand but this will be for a limited period till the time there is a cold wave situation.” Kapoor added that sales of water heaters has now spread across the year as consumers typically install them as the move to new homes or buy to replace their older products. 

“ Room heaters saw an uptick in demand in December and have seen a surge in January as temperatures have dipped. However, water heaters have not seen the same surge,” said a spokesperson for Usha International.