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Photo: Mint
Photo: Mint

Retail sales dip 67% in last two weeks of June

A few categories such as food and grocery, consumer durables and furniture indicate signs of recovery

NEW DELHI : Retail sales dropped sharply in June with retailers in malls reporting a 77% year-on-year dip in business in the last 15 days of June and those in high streets seeing business decline by 62% in the same period, as per the findings of a survey by the Retailers Association of India (RAI), conducted with over 100 large and small retailers, between 15 June and 30 June.

Indians stuck at home rushed to buy consumer electronics in June, helping the category register a quicker recovery than the previous months and in comparison to retailers of fast food, apparel, footwear, and jewellery.

In all, sales were down 67% year-on-year between 15 June to 30 June despite malls and high streets being open for longer during this period.

“The quantum of degrowth marginally reduced in June 2020, the first quarter of FY21 continued to witness degrowth of -74%. The figures depict a grim situation for not just retailers but the entire economy as retail is the backbone of consumption," said Kumar Rajagopalan, chief executive officer, RAI, which represents several large and small retailers across India.

A few categories such as food and grocery, consumer durables and furniture indicate signs of recovery, RAI’s survey showed.

As in the previous months, restaurants and QSRs, which rely on high footfall, reported the biggest slump in business in the second half of June with a 71% year-on-year decline in sales, followed by the beauty and wellness category.

Surprisingly, in the duration when most businesses reported between 65% and 70% slump in sales, growth in consumer electronics was down by only 19%, indicating a strong demand for home appliances among households who are stocking up on white goods as they spend longer hours at home.

“High street retail stores are leading this recovery across these categories, while business in malls continues to be in deep red," RAI said.

Mall developers said footfall and sales still remain sluggish, especially in markets where covid-19 cases have risen.

“Now that malls have been open for 15-20 days, footfall is up a bit and so are the sales, but it is nothing drastic," said Abhishek Bansal, executive director at Pacific Malls that runs multiple shopping centres in the Delhi-National Capital Region, as well as one in Dehradun. Business in malls is at 20-30% of sales registered in the same period a year ago. “It is about places with high cases of infections, in smaller markets demand is intact," Bansal said.

However, in all, retailers saw some recovery in the month of June compared to April and May when restrictions on businesses were enforced strictly.

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