Retail businesses across India reported a growth of 13 per cent in sales as compared to pre-pandemic levels but inflationary headwinds remain a key concern ahead of the festival season, according to the latest survey of the Retailers Association of India (RAI).

Overall, there has been a slowing down of growth rates sequentially. In May, retailers in the country had reported a growth of 24 per cent compared to pre-pandemic levels.

As per the latest edition of the RAI’s Retail Business Survey, East India reported a growth of 17 per cent in June compared to June 2019, while West India reported a growth of 11 per cent. Retail businesses in North India and South India reported a growth of 16 per cent and 9 per cent, respectively.

Kumar Rajagopalan, CEO, RAI, said many retailers indicated that the second half of June was not very encouraging due to a lack of drivers of sales such as weddings.

‘A definite slow down in growth’

“While June 2022 has witnessed growth as compared to the same period before the pandemic, the rate of growth has definitely slowed down. The headwinds of inflation on consumer spending are still a worry and may impact the upcoming festive fervour. We will have to wait and watch how the next two months will pan out,” Rajagopalan added.

In terms of categories, quick service restaurants (QSR), footwear ad apparel reported stable growth. While the QSR category witnessed a growth of 16 per cent compared to June 2019, sales of footwear and apparel categories were up 14 per cent.

Jewellery sales were up 27 per cent compared to pre-pandemic levels and sports goods sales clocked a growth of 29 per cent in June (versus June 2019). Consumer durables and electronics clocked a growth of 16 per cent in June compared to pre-pandemic levels.

Meanwhile, furniture and furnishing and beauty and personal care categories witnessed a growth of 7 per cent and 5 per cent, respectively, last month compared to June 2019.