As the country continues to grapple with Covid-19 pandemic, essential goods are expected to fuel the retail industry’s growth in the coming quarters as consumer expenditure continues to remain focused on essentials, particularly in the food and grocery segment, according to a report.
With economic activities on the rise post gradual unlocking, consumer spends in terms of average bill value have also risen by 1.5 times to ₹900 per basket from ₹650 per basket in early March, according to a report by Anarock and Retailers Association of India (RAI) titled ‘Indian Retail – Certainty Despite Headwinds’.
Besides food and grocery, categories such as apparel, electronics, home furnishings, fast moving consumer durables and QSR are expected to witness a ‘V-shaped recovery within the next 2-3 quarters’. Beauty, personal care, wellness and home essentials are expected to take longer with 4-6 quarters to recover fully, the report added.
While organised retail and e-commerce segments are on an upswing, rise in digitally influenced purchases has also led to retailers increasingly switching to omni-channel retailing, the report said.
Kumar Rajagopalan, CEO, Retailers Association of India (RAI), said, “Omni-channel was gaining importance even before the pandemic. The pandemic has enhanced the importance of retailers having an omni-channel strategy since concepts of digital browsing, click and collect, curbside delivery, video shopping etc. have gained importance. The pandemic has propelled consumers to purchase based on convenience either as delivery to home or by shopping at offline nearby stores or by time scheduled shopping.”
Omni-channel retailing is evolving rapidly with brands collaborating actively to enhance their reach. “Many are using malls or in-mall stores as urban warehouses to ensure a faster delivery to customers and are tying-up with existing e-commerce/delivery portals to leverage their existing network and ensure reduced additional cost,” added Anuj Kejriwal, MD & CEO - ANAROCK Retail.
“Covid-19 will work as a catalyst for the growth of organised retail and e-commerce in India. Online spending is on a marked rise with online shoppers projected to increase from 15 per cent in 2019 to 50 per cent of the total online population by 2026,” he said.
Malls and retail stores have also stepped up focus on hygiene and sanitation measures. At the same time, mall owners are looking to minimise touch points by going digital and sanitizing cars before letting them in the parking spots. “With valet services, cars are sanitised before and after the car is returned to a customer. Sanitisation of customers’ belongings before mall entry also figures high on the list,” the report added.