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Tuesday, Apr 27, 2004

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It may be curtains for NTC showrooms too

G. Gurumurthy

Coimbatore , April 26

AFTER its unviable textile plants lined up for closure and sale, it may be curtains on the National Textile Corporation's marketing set up as the public sector textile monolith is expected to come out with a notice any time now seeking to wind up of its textile showrooms across the country either partly or fully.

According to highly-placed NTC sources, the move to wind up ``as many direct marketing outlets or the showrooms'' as possible follows the dwindling sales turnover from the company-owned retail showrooms in the first place. Further, a bulk of these showrooms had long ceased to be viable in the face of NTC closing down its composite textile production facilities under its fold which used to cater the in-house finished textile products to be marketed through the company-owned retail outlets under the brand `Entyce'

The sources told Business Line that the NTC's national holding company might issue a formal clearance for the closure of its showrooms currently functioning under various subsidiaries.

In Tamil Nadu, for example, there are 37 NTC-owned retail showrooms operating in various parts of the State and many of these showrooms had failed to add up any revenue earnings worthy enough for their continuous running. About 150 or so staff employed in these show rooms may be asked to bite either the voluntary retirement scheme or redeployment in the event of the Tamil Nadu NTC subsidiary initiates the action towards the winding up the showrooms.

Of the pack of 15 textile mills operating under the NTC's Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry subsidiary till a few years ago, there were 7 composite textile units that used to produce fabric/finished apparel cloth/made-ups and these products used to be retailed under these showrooms. But today, all except the one - Sri Murugan Mills in Coimbatore - ceased to exist thereby drastically reducing the in-house textile product range to be marketed under the company retail outlets and turned them redundant.

In Tamil Nadu, it is likely that the subsidiary may reduce the number of NTC showrooms by 50 per cent. Of the Rs 180 crore or so annual sales turnover reported by the nine textile mills operating under the Tamil Nadu/Pondicherry subsidiary, the sale income from the retail showrooms is estimated to have come down to Rs 10 crore or so. This, according to sources, has forced the NTC administration to expedite the winding of the `non-productive/unviable' outlets.

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