Retail Sales Back To 93% Of Pre-Covid Levels In February, Says Survey
The retail industry’s business is on the brink of full recovery as it achieved 93% of the pre-Covid sales in February, according to the Retailers Association of India.
Segments such as consumer durables and quick service restaurants have shown positive growth of 15% and 18% respectively in February 2021, the report from the RAI said.
"The quantum of de-growth in retail sales has reduced as most segments in retail have started to show significant improvement," it said.
Categories like footwear, beauty, wellness and personal care, sports goods and food and grocery are showing steady month-on-month recovery.
"The 13th edition of the Retail Business Survey by the Retailers Association of India indicates sales in February 2021 were at -7% of last year's sales on a year-on-year comparison and at -18% in Q3FY21 on a year-on-yearcomparison," it said.
Recovery across regions is showing steady improvement, with eastern India indicating positive growth of 2% in the month of February.
"Southern and Northern India have recovered better with sales nearing pre-Covid-19 levels at -6% and -9% respectively, while Western India has progressed slower at -16% on a year-on-year comparison in the month of February 2021," it said.
RAI Chief Executive Officer Kumar Rajagopalan said the retailers are hopeful of achieving pre-pandemic levels of business in the first six months of 2021.
"It is heartening to see recovery across categories. We hope that the uncertainty regarding the rising cases of Covid-19 in a few states will not cast its shadow on the growth momentum with the rollout of the vaccine," he added.
After the pandemic, it has now become imperative for every retailer to adopt 'phygital' in various ways -- be it social media, messaging platforms, or digital shopping, in addition to their normal channels to align themselves with the changing consumer mindsets of the next normal, he noted.
Although Covid-19 vaccinations have started, the pandemic situation may take some more time to completely settle. RAI believes that recovery will need unconventional solutions and government support, the report said.