Retail Sales Continue To Lag Pre-Pandemic Level Ahead Of Festive Season
Retail sales continued to lag the pre-pandemic level two years back even as demand picked up across the country ahead of the festive season.
Retail sales in August 2021 were at 88% of the August 2019 level, with north and south India witnessing the highest recovery, Retailers Association of India said in a media statement. In July, retail sales were at 72% of the pre-pandemic level.
August retail sales were at 98% of the pre-pandemic levels compared with 78% in July.
Retail sales in August 2021 stood at 97% compared with August 2019. It was at 82% in July.
Retail sales stood at 76% compared with August 2019. It was 57% in July.
August retail sales were at 81% of the pre-pandemic levels compared with 69% in July.
“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,” Kumar Rajagopalan, chief executive officer at the association, was quoted as saying in the statement. “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.”
Quick-service restaurants witnessed a growth of 12% in August compared with the pre-pandemic level in 2019, while the food and grocery category grew 4%.
Beauty and wellness, including salons, apparel, footwear and jewellery, are yet to reach the pre-pandemic levels of sales.
The overall industry sentiment, according to the statement, will improve when clothing and accessories categories witness growth.