Localised lockdowns are slowing down revival and impacting retail sales as retailers saw de-growth of 52 percent in August as compared to the same month last year, although there is a marginal recovery from the preceding months this year, according to a survey by RAI.
As per the 6th edition of the Retail Business Survey by the Retailers Association of India (RAI), the only category that showed a significant improvement was consumer durables, though sales were still down 23 percent compared to the year-ago month.
RAI said other sectors continued to be sluggish with the food and grocery category down by 46 percent, footwear fell 47 percent, apparel and clothing plummetted 54 percent, sports goods dropped 58 percent and beauty and wellness slipped 56 percent.
Regionwise, the country’s southern region posted a bit lesser impact with sales declining 46 percent, followed by eastern part that dropped 52 percent, and western and northern parts that saw a fall of 54 percent last month as compared to August 2019.
“On the whole, across regions, large retailers are performing marginally better than medium-sized retailers,” it added.
RAI said, “The smooth rollout of Unlock 3.0 in August 2020 encountered hurdles in the form of localised lockdowns in some states interrupting business planning and operations. The lockdowns are slowing down revival.”
Commenting on the findings, Kumar Rajagopalan, CEO, RAI said, “The retail industry has started to witness some green shoots, especially in states that are allowing retail to operate with fewer interruptions.”
He further said, “Support from governments at local levels across the country with the assurance of no more localised lockdowns will help fast-track recovery of sales during the upcoming festive season to almost to the same levels as last year…perhaps just 20 percent short of last year’s figures. Some segments may even do better.”