Not all gloom: ‘Festival’ categories sees brisk sales

Meenakshi Verma Ambwani New Delhi | Updated on October 25, 2019

Malls have seen higher footfall in recent days   -  Udit Kulshrestha

Consumers splurging on ethnicwear, home furnishing and decor, kitchen appliances and electronics

While the slowdown cloud looms large over the Indian economy, organised retail chains and brands say consumers are not shying away from spending on categories associated with the festival season celebrations such as apparel especially ethnicwear and kidswear, home furnishings and decor products, kitchen appliances and electronics products among others.

Organised jewellery firms said there is an uptick in small ticket items and are hoping the onset of the wedding season will lead to an increase in the big ticket products in the coming days.

Vasanth Kumar, MD, Lifestyle International said, “Overall we expect to clock a growth in the range of high single digit to moderate double digits compared to the last festival season. Actual purchases or conversions have seen an uptick.” He added that total spends per consumer have also gone up compared to last season.

Categories such as ethnic apparel, home décor and furnishings and products for gifting are witnessing an uptick, he said.

Lalit Agarwal, CMD of V- Mart Retail, a value fashion and lifestyle products retailer, added that the company expects to see “average growth” during the festival season. He added that consumers are spending on value-for-money categories and products meant for social gifting besides festival related products such as home décor and decorative items.

Retailers and brands are focusing on sweetening deals for consumers through aggressive promotional offers.

According to the “ Festive Shopping Index 2019” survey by Retailers Association of India and LitmusWorld released earlier this week, apparel and fashion stood as the most indulgent category with 71 per cent of the respondents stating they will spend on apparel. This was followed by home appliances and electronics category at 49 per cent and mobile phones category at 41 per cent.

Product features followed by discounts are the most influencing factors for purchase decisions this festival season. “However, consumers are also looking at unique experiences and cashback offers, followed by attractive EMI offers and the opportunity to redeem their kitty of Loyalty Points,” the survey added.

Though Navratras, that marks the beginning of the auspicious buying festival season, had not seen the customary spike in footfalls at malls, players said there has been an uptick in the run-up to the Diwali. Pushpa Bector, Executive Director, DLF Shopping Malls said, “There has been a resurgence in footfalls in the past few days. Shoppers continue to spend on products that enhance quality of life. Categories such as ethnicwear, home décor and furnishings products and lifestyle products are driving the footfalls. ”

Added Mukesh Kumar, CEO at Mumbai-based Infiniti Malls , “Though in the beginning of the month there was muted consumer sentiment, that is now changing. After Dussehera, footfalls have seen a rise at our malls.”

With the prices of gold now stabilizing, jewellery companies are trying woo consumers with discounts, promotional offers and financing schemes during the ongoing festival season as well as the wedding season that will continue for the next two-three months.

TS Kalyanaraman, Chairman and Managing Director, Kalyan Jewellers said, “Gold prices saw a rise in the months of July-August, and that did have an impact on buying sentiment. However, the trend has steadied now, and we are hopeful that Dhanteras and Diwali will be favourable.”

Published on October 25, 2019

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