Consumer Durables News

December retail sales up 16% from pre-covid levels


New Delhi: Retail sales in December grew 16% compared to the sales recorded during December 2019 or the pre-pandemic period, according to the 35th edition of the Retail Business Survey conducted by the Retailers Association of India (RAI).

RAI surveys retailers across categories such as apparel, home decor, beauty and personal care, quick service restaurants, footwear, food and grocery. It covers both large and mid-sized retailers pan-India.

In December, retail businesses across regions have indicated growth in sales as compared to pre-pandemic levels with east India signalling a growth of 20%, while retailers in south India and west India reporting a growth of 18% and 16%, respectively, followed by 10% growth in North India.

“Customers are spending carefully on discretionary products. While it’s growth, it’s cautious growth,” said Kumar Rajagopalan, CEO, Retailers Association of India (RAI).

Consumers are grappling with higher prices of everything as manufacturers raise prices to counter high raw material inflation.

Across categories, footwear retailers reported a growth of 29% compared to sales levels in December 2019; this was followed by jewellery (26%) and sporting goods (25%) as compared to sales levels in December 2019. Apparel retailers reported a 9% growth during the period while consumer durables retailers reported a growth of 6% in sales. Food and grocery retailers on the other hand reported a 14% jump in business in December.

Furniture throughout the year was showing muted growth but now has shown healthy growth (19% sales compared to pre-pandemic levels or 2019). Money spent on travel, setting up of new houses and occasions are showing growth, the report said. However, growth for day to day consumption is muted, RAI said in its note.

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