The 19th edition of the Retail Business Survey by the Retailers Association of India (RAI) indicates that retail sales in August 2021 were at 88 percent of the pre-pandemic levels (August 2019), as against 72 percent in July 2021.
Speaking about festive season sales, Kumar Rajagopalan, CEO, Retailers Association of India (RAI), said, “As the festive season approaches and the inoculation drive picks up pace across the country, we are hopeful that the festive shopping this year will drive positive growth for most retailers, with the possibility of some retailers doing even better sales than the pre-pandemic levels. Though recovery at the moment looks encouraging across categories, retailers continue to maintain cautious optimism due to the possibility of a third wave of the pandemic.”
Retail businesses in the North and the South of India have indicated sales nearing recovery in August 2021 with sales at 98 percent and 97 percent respectively, of the pre-pandemic levels (August 2019), as against 78 percent (North India) and 82 percent (South India) sales in July 2021. West and East of India are looking hopeful of recovery in the next few months and have indicated sales at 76 percent and 81 percent of pre-pandemic levels (August 2019) against 57 percent and 69 percent respectively in July 2021.
In categories, Quick Service Restaurants (QSR) are showing signs of growth with 12 percent sales in August 2021 as compared to sales in the pre-pandemic levels (August 2019), while Food and Groceries category is indicating a growth of 4 percent. However, Beauty and Wellness, which includes Salons, Apparel, Footwear and Jewellery are yet to catch up to the pre-pandemic levels of sales. The overall industry sentiment will improve when clothing and accessories category shows growth.
RAI hopes that the festive season will bring back cheer to the retail industry across sectors and those employed in it.
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