Retail sales touch 72% of pre-pandemic levels; businesses eye festive season boost: RAI

PTIUpdated: Tuesday, August 17, 2021, 01:55 PM IST
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RAI retail businesses in south India have indicated a very sharp comeback in July 2021 with sales at 82 per cent of the pre-pandemic levels (July 2019), as against 50 per cent sales in June 2021./ Representational image |

Retail sales across the country continued to recover in July, reaching 72 per cent of the pre-pandemic levels of July 2019, and businesses are pinning hopes on the festive seasons for a further boost, Retailers Association of India (RAI) said on Tuesday.

According to the retailer's body, the rate of recovery was 50 per cent of pre-pandemic levels in June 2021.

In its latest business survey, RAI retail businesses in south India have indicated a very sharp comeback in July 2021 with sales at 82 per cent of the pre-pandemic levels (July 2019), as against 50 per cent sales in June 2021.

However, west India is yet to improve, registering sales at 57 per cent of pre-pandemic levels (July 2019).

"This is mainly because of prolonged curbs in Maharashtra that disrupted the smooth functioning of modern retail in the state," RAI said.

In terms of categories, quick service restaurants (QSR) recovered the best in July 2021 with sales at 97 per cent of the pre-pandemic levels (July 2019).

Yet, in July 2021, beauty and wellness, which includes salons, is still at 50 per cent of pre-pandemic sales, while apparel is at 63 per cent sales of the pre-pandemic levels.

Commenting on the outlook, RAI CEO Kumar Rajagopalan said, "There is a possibility of significant sales recovery for retail businesses as the festive season approaches, provided restrictions on modern retail are relaxed across the country allowing smooth operations and return to normalcy."

RAI said opening up of retail will give businesses a chance at recovery, saving the livelihood of millions who are dependent on the retail ecosystem.

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