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    How Raghavendra Rathore, Anita Dongre deal with unsold inventory

    Synopsis

    British Brand Burberry destroyed 'unsaleable' items, for which they faced flak.

    Agencies
    By Shannon Tellis

    Following a strong wave of environmental criticism, Burberry announced recently that they will no longer destroy items deemed ‘unsaleable’. The British brand faced flak for destroying £28.6 million ($ 37.1 million) of ‘unsaleable’ goods over the past year to prevent it from being sold at knockdown prices. Burberry defended its practice, saying that energy was harnessed through the destruction. ETPanache spoke to a few Indian designers for solutions to the problems of unsold inventory.

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    Raghavendra Rathore
    “Regardless of surplus, investment must be done to make sure that the longing for the product is not created by a hype of scarcity. Instead it should be managed through a well-organised supply and demand algorithm. With regards to Burberry, I think that a huge shift in brand identity might have been the real reason to disconnect from the old design and stock.”
    Raghavendra RathoreAgencies
    He feels it should the unsold inventory should be managed through a well-organised supply and demand algorithm

    Abu Jani-Sandeep Khosla
    “We live in a world where resources are precious and to simply destroy is an affront to our personal ethics. Our diffusion label goes on sale once a year, our couture label every five years. So it’s rare for us to have excessive unsold stock. But if stock must be ‘disposed’ off after a few seasons, we prefer to gift to employees or donate to absolute strangers.”
    Abu Jani-Sandeep Khosa
    They prefer to gift to employees or donate to absolute strangers

    Tarun Tahiliani
    “A brand that destroys so much merchandise is actually doing itself a disfavour. Rather than destroy unsold goods, we have a genuine sale followed by a friends-and-family sale. After that, the unsold fabrics or pieces are given out to NGOs who can convert them into little gifts to sell. It is our endeavour to ensure that nothing goes to waste.”

    Tarun Tahiliani
    Rather than destroy unsold goods, the designers prefers to have a genuine sale followed by a friends-and-family sale

    Amrish Kumar
    “While destroying unsold stock is a reality in the fashion industry, in India, we’re not there yet. None of the brands in India are at a scale where we have to make that decision. When it comes to our unsold stock, we do discount sales and donate some but we haven’t had to destroy anything yet.”
    Amrish Kumar
    While destroying unsold stock is a reality in the fashion industry, in India, Amrish Kumar is not quite there yet

    Anita Dongre
    “Now more than ever, it’s imperative for brands to think of smarter and greener ways of inventory management. One solution to avoid discarding products at the end of a season and ensuring exclusivity is to simply consider small-batch production like we do for our bridal, pret and grassroot lines. Donations, upcycling and repurposing unsold inventory could also be used to not only enhance a brand’s social capital but also provide newer revenue streams.”
    Anita Dongre
    One solution to avoid discarding products at the end of a season, says Anita

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