Sale of Independence Day merchandise in Tiruppur hub hit

With schools shut, firms not holding major events and traders’ movement restricted, demand for products drops

The production and sale of tricolour-themed caps, flags, t-shirts, hand and head bands, and badges during Independence Day has been adversely impacted by the COVID-19 lockdown in Tiruppur, a major supplier of such merchandise.

Schoolchildren and commercial establishments mostly purchase the t-shirts and caps in bulk.

With schools remaining shut and no major events being held by commercial establishments, there has hardly been any demand.

Orders for masks

“We are selling like retailers this year, in small quantities,” said a major flag producer in Tiruppur. The hub would get orders from across the country. This year, however, there were hardly any enquiries, said another manufacturer.

V.S. Chandrakumar of Sentinal Clothing said that he had orders for masks with the tricolour printed on them, alongside logos of companies or organisations. “We started getting orders 10 or 15 days back, even from places such as Ahmedabad. However, there were some reports that the flag should not be printed on masks. Hence, we stopped printing the flag on masks,” he said.

At the Gandhiji Khadhar Store, that makes and supplies cloth flags, in Coimbatore, the demand for paper and cloth flags picked up only in the last two days. The orders came mostly from the district.

Travel restrictions

According to Kannan, who sells merchandise at his store here, most paper items for Independence Day are sourced from Sivakasi, badges and bands from Bengaluru, and t-shirts from Tiruppur. With travel restrictions, traders could not go to these places to buy the products and with schools shut, the demand was low.

“The demand was just 15% of the usual. Cloth flags were the main products sold,” he said.

Ravi, another trader, said that he had last year’s stock, worth nearly ₹3 lakh. But he was able to sell only for ₹50,000. He said he usually sold goods worth ₹4 lakh-₹5 lakh for Independence Day.

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