Indian Apparel Exporters Forced to Lay Off Workers

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Oct. 30 –Indian apparel exporters have been forced lay off workers as export demand from United States and European garment stores slowdown due to the global credit crisis.

?Among the U.S. stores with European branches, Steve & Barry's and Mervyns have declared bankruptcy. Pacific Sunwear closed 150 stores while Lane Bryant, Fashion Bug and Catherines are deciding to cut out 150 outlets. In addition, Foot Locker is also removing 140 stores while Ann Taylor has decided to slash 117 outlets. ??Some of the United State’s top garments retailers have decided to scale back operations. These include: Eddie Bauer, Cache, Talbots, J Jill, Gap Inc, Foot Locker, Goodbye Levitz, Home Depot, Macy's, Pep Boys, J C Penney, Lowe and Office Depot.

The textile industry is India’s second top employer after the agriculture industry.

In a letter to the Commerce Ministry, Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC) Secretary General Vimal Kirti Singh said, "Many Indian exporters have closed their garment manufacturing units. A leading exporter in Mumbai has temporarily shut down two factories and laid off 2,000 workers."

He added, "The market sentiment is very weak." In September, Indian apparel exports dropped by 6.59 percent compared to last year’s figures.