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New Delhi: Retail sales grew 9% in November compared to pre-covid (November 2019), but dropped sequentially, according to a pan-India Retail Business Survey by the Retailers Association of India (RAI).

Recovery was led by the consumer durables and electronics segment followed by sports goods and footwear, according to findings of the survey released Monday. However, the industry body that represents small and large retailers pan-India across categories such as food, apparel, quick service restaurants etc flagged worries around the Omicron variant and an impending third wave.

To be sure, retail sales were high in October as the month was packed with pre-festive buying. Diwali, for instance, fell on 04 November this year, post which demand typically tends to moderate.

Retail businesses across regions indicated growth in sales as compared to pre-pandemic levels with retailers in west India reporting 11% growth compared to November 2019, followed by east and south India at 9%. Retail sales in north India grew 6% compared to sales levels reported in November 2019.

"Business is improving and we do hope that this will sustain. However, there are still worries around Omicron and the third wave, leading to a feeling of cautious optimism," said Kumar Rajagopalan, CEO, Retailers Association of India.

Among categories, RAI’s survey noted that consumer durables and electronics which did not report strong growth in October 2021, grew 32% over November 2019 as customers ended Diwali such purchases.

“Furthermore, sports goods category reported a growth of 18% and apparel category indicated a consistent growth at 6% compared to November 2019. While food and groceries and quick service restaurants (QSR) continue to indicate growth, categories such as footwear, beauty, wellness and personal care, and furniture are inching towards recovery," according to the findings of the survey.

 

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