Retailers clocked moderate growth in May over the same month in 2022 and the industry will be closely watching how sales trends pan out over the next three months.

According to the latest Retail Business Survey released by the Retailers Association of India, retailers clocked a growth of 7 per cent in May 2023, compared to May 2022. This was led by categories, such as jewellery and apparel.

While retail businesses in Eastern India clocked a growth of 8 per cent during this period, South India and West India registered a growth of 7 per cent and 6 per cent, respectively. Retailers in North India clocked a growth of just about 5 per cent in May, compared to the same month last year.

Kumar Rajagopalan, CEO, Retailers Association of India (RAI), said: “As consumers are now getting into their normal business routines, we are witnessing moderate growth over previous year. However, we are also aware that April and May in 2022 witnessed extraordinary growth at 23 per cent and 24 per cent, respectively, compared to the pre-pandemic period (April 2019 and May 2019).”

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“We will have to wait and watch how the next three months pan out to draw a proper conclusion,” he added.

In categories, jewellery and apparel reported a growth of 9 per cent each, followed by food and grocery (8 per cent) and Quick Service Restaurants ( 7 per cent), compared to May 2022. Consumer durables and electronics (5 per cent), beauty, wellness and personal care (5 per cent) and footwear (3 per cent) clocked growth in low single digits. Sports goods sales grew merely 2 per cent in May this year, compared to the same period last year, which was the lowest growth since the pandemic. Similarly, furniture and furnishing also grew only 2 per cent.

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lifestyle products

A report released by Motilal Oswal Financial Services on Monday also stated that the majority of lifestyle products companies have indicated softer demand scenarios across product categories, price ranges and geographical regions. “While April-May’23 has possibly seen a more pronounced impact due to the higher base of last fiscal, clearly footfalls have been weak. Although revenue trends have been better in June, it continues to remain modest,” the report added.