Mumbai: Phoenix Mills (PML), one of India's leading realtors and developers/ operators of malls under Palladium, High Street Phoenix and Phoenix MarketCity brands, said consumer buying trends across its shopping malls were very positive.
The recently concluded festive season in October 2019, according to a top company executive, was one of the best ever months in terms of consumption.
Shishir Shrivastava, joint managing director PML, said, the final audited numbers (for October 2019) are yet to come however, the initial set of figures are looking very encouraging.
“All our malls are showing consumption growth of 30% compared to October 2018. Also, if we compare Diwali October 2019 consumption against Diwali in November 2018, the consumption growth is in excess of 20% year-on-year,” said Shrivastava during an earnings call to discuss the company’s July to September quarter results for fiscal 2019-20.
Interestingly, according to operational performance numbers shared by PML, retail consumption increased only by 1% to Rs 169.48 crore in the September 2019 quarter as compared to the same period last year.
The over consumption growth number stood at 3% for the April to September (first half - H1) of fiscal 2019-20 over the previous year, the company said in its presentation to analysts.
So what’s changed materially for Phoenix Mills given that second quarter consumption growth numbers are in lower single digits? The company management said, there have been some specific assets where consumption has been more or less flat.
“However, we have also seen some good consumption growth in a few of the other assets. For example, Phoenix MarketCity in Pune and Mumbai have grown 7% and 4% respectively.
The real indicator in our opinion is the blockbuster performance in the month of October as well as the Diwali festive buying period this year over 2018.
There is a huge positive growth, which is also giving us the confidence that we could see better consumption growth going forward for the second half of fiscal 2019-20,” said Shrivastava.
As for meager consumption growth of 1% in second quarter (Q2) of the current fiscal, PML management said that weekend sales were impacted owing to extended monsoons this year.
The company also doesn’t attribute the Q2 growth numbers to any major economic slowdown that’s been talked about across the country.
“Like I said earlier, October sales are hugely encouraging. And if we look at categories, entertainment is up by 13% to 14%, fashion is more or less flat, footwear, bags and accessories is up 12%, jewellery and watches have only grown by 4%. Growth in books, toys, gifts etc. is in the 9% to 10% range.
Cosmetics is up 9%, department stores is grown by 5%. Food and beverage sales is down 1% or 2%. We have seen reduction to some extent in the electronics category to the tune of about 8%.
Taking all these into consideration, it would overall translate into 1% growth on year for the September quarter,” said Shrivastava adding that home accessories as a category has not seen any growth at all.
(The writer is an Independent Business Journalist and can be reached at email@example.com)