Economy, Business And Markets

Manteau Market Falls Short of Expectations

Manteau Market Falls Short of ExpectationsManteau Market Falls Short of Expectations

Since women are avid buyers and manteaus and shirtdresses are worn all year round, one would expect the market to be thriving and producers rolling in money.

Yet businesspeople in the field say they are not satisfied with production conditions and call for the removal of impediments, the Persian daily Forsat-e Emrooz reported.

“The capital needed to enter the field varies according to the size of the business. One can start a production unit with 10 million rials (close to $3,000 at market exchange rate), while there are people who start with $300,000. Yet what counts is the creativity one brings to the market and not the capital,” said Javad Salehi, an old hand in the business.

He added that there are times when a producer cannot even sell $14,000 worth of manteaux over a month and at other times, sales amount to over $140,000.

“This is the nature of our business. It can make producers affluent or render them bankrupt overnight. It is highly risky since it deals with fashion, seasons, colors, sizes and different tastes,” he said.

As textile is the main raw material for producing manteaux, Salehi said at present three kinds of fabrics are available in the market.

“There is the Iranian fabric that is rarely used because of its low quality. Then there is the Turkish fabric that is reliable and durable, which has maintained its popularity in the market,” he said.

“Last but not least is the Chinese variety. Though China produces textiles, which vary in quality, Iranian merchants usually import the ones with the lowest quality to gain high profits. This has negatively impacted the market.”

Some 90% of the fabric used in producing manteau are imported. Iranian producers are mere tailors who use Japanese sewing machines and Chinese fabric, needles and scissors to do their job. Only in Tehran, there are over 9,000 tailors working in manteau production units.

Ehsan Davoudi, another businessman in the field, believes that to enter the market, one needs experience and knowledge more than a substantial amount of investment.

“Over 30 producers go bankrupt every year. These are the ones who enter the business without knowing the tricks of the trade,” he said. Davoudi explained that high production cost is one of the major problem facing producers.

Another challenge, he said, is lack of banking facilities to assist producers in expanding their businesses on top of high tax and insurance fees.

According to business owners in the field, each Iranian woman buys up to four manteaux each year. If we take the average price of each manteau to be 500,000 rials (about $15), it will give an indication of the potential turnover of several million dollars in manteaux production.