Economy

Retail sales touch 72 per cent of pre-pandemic levels in July: RAI

Meenakshi Verma Ambwani New Delhi | Updated on August 17, 2021

Sharpest recovery seen in South in July this year with sales reaching 82% of July 2019 sales levels

With restrictions continuing to ease across States, the retail industry seems to be witnessing improvement in sales month-on-month with expectations of a strong boost in the upcoming festival season.

According to the latest business survey released by Retailers Association of India (RAI), retail sales in July were pegged at 72 percent of the pre-pandemic levels seen in July 2019. In June, retail sales were estimated to be at 50 percent of the pre-pandemic levels.

Region-wise performance

The industry body said that retail businesses witnessed the sharpest recovery in the Southern region in July this year with sales reaching 82 per cent of July 2019 sales levels. Retail sales were seen at 78 per cent of pre-pandemic levels in Northern India and at 69 per cent of pre-pandemic levels in Eastern India.

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However, retail sales in Western India were still at 57 per cent of levels seen in July 2019. “This is mainly because of prolonged curbs in Maharashtra that disrupted the smooth functioning of modern retail in the State,” RAI said.

Festive season

Kumar Rajagopalan, CEO, Retailers Association of India said, “There is a possibility of significant sales recovery for retail businesses as the festive season approaches, provided restrictions on modern retail are relaxed across the country allowing smooth operations and return to normalcy.”

In terms of categories, Quick Service Restaurants (QSR) witnessed a strong turnaround as sales are almost back to nearly 97 per cent of that seen in July 2019. Consumer durables & electronics category besides footwear category all saw better sales trends in July compared to June.

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“However, beauty & wellness, which includes Salons, is still at 50 per cent of pre-pandemic sales, while apparel is at 63 per cent sales of the pre-pandemic levels in July 2021,” the RAI’s monthly survey added.

Published on August 17, 2021

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