As shopping has acquired a whole new dimension with the advent of mall culture, the Andhra Pradesh State Handloom Weavers Cooperative Society Ltd (APCO) is trying to catch up with the trend to not lag behind in drawing customers.

It has decided to renovate its showrooms across the State numbering 160-plus to attract more number of customers particularly the young ones who prefer shopping in style and comfort, which are not found in the APCO showrooms.

The idea is to give them a swanky look, particularly expand the main showrooms at Hyderabad, Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada, Kadapa and Ongole into bigger trendy ones.

Another significant step the APCO has taken is to give its ailing dying and processing unit at Jeedimetla (in Hyderabad) on BOT basis for reviving it.

The modalities are being worked out and the proposals are set to be cleared soon, APCO Chairman M. Hanumantha Rao told The Hindu .

The APCO’s turnover is targeted to be doubled to nearly Rs. 500 crore by the end of this financial year but it is not possible without the Government’s support.

Procurement

In a welcome move, Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy has got G.O No. 24 issued by the Department of Industries and Commerce (Textiles) recently for compulsory procurement of cloth by the Social, Tribal, Backward Classes, Minorities and Women and Child Welfare Departments, the School Education Department including Rajiv Vidya Mission, and livery cloths (uniforms) supplied by the Government to Class-IV employees from APCO for enabling the handloom weavers to withstand competition from textile mills and power looms which do not have investment and technology constraints.

The above departments have to source their entire requirement from the APCO. Other departments are given a free hand to place orders with the APCO depending on its ability to supply cloth.

The G.O No. 24 was issued for sustaining the handloom industry and providing livelihood security to the weavers.