Online sales boom in US, UK raises hope for RMG exporters
DOT Desk:  Bangladesh’s largest apparel market, in terms of countries, the United States of America (US), has been recovering from the slowdown amid Covid-19, thanks to rocketing retail sales online, reports TBS.
 Simultaneously, online apparel sales in the United Kingdom (UK), another major market for Bangladesh, are also rising, to which industry players expressed happiness, saying the opening of both markets is a good signal for Bangladeshi garment factories.
 A strong rebound of apparel sales on the US retail market has also helped to continue the acceleration of its growth rate in September for the fourth straight month year-over-year, reported Just-style, a UK based online portal.  Apparel retailers reported a double-digit surge in sales during the month, with the segment reporting the steepest month-on-month increase.  According to data released by the US Census Bureau, sales at clothing stores increased by 11% month-on-month but were down over 12 year-over-year. Overall, retail sales during the month were up by nearly 2% seasonally adjusted from August and by over 5% year-over-year. That was more than triple the 0.6% month-on-month increase and almost double the 2.8% year-over-year increase in August.
Sales have grown both month-on-month and year-over-year each month since June this year, following record monthly drops in sales during spring, March to May, in the USA.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh’s apparel exports decreased by 14.5% in the first eight months of this year although the country still holds a good position compared to its competitor countries.
China’s garment exports to the US market have nearly halved while India’s and Mexico’s fell by one-third, Indonesia’s by nearly 21% and Vietnam’s by about 10%.
As a result, Bangladesh has emerged as the second least-losing country among the five nations in garment exports. The US imported 57% of its apparel from China, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Indonesia, India, and Mexico during January-August this year, according to the Office of Textiles and Apparel (OTEXA) data.