“Retail businesses across the country are looking good as healthy growth in sales over pre-pandemic level continues. Key categories like garments and footwear are showing traction. Considering this trend, retailers expect a good festive season, which could bring cheer to businesses,” said Kumar Rajagopalan, CEO, Retailers Association of India (RAI).
In July 2022, the growth in sales compared to pre-pandemic time (July 2019) is noticeable across regions too with sales in East India growing to 25%, South India showing a growth of 21%, North India indicating 16%, and West India showing a growth of 10%.
Sales across categories show a steady increase with sports goods indicating a strong performance followed by Footwear, Apparel and Jewellery performing better than other categories in July 2022.
There were concerns over inflation when in June, 13% increase in sales from pre-pandemic June 2019 was reported, a slower growth rate than the previous two months.
Some trade insiders, however, attributed sales growth to EOSS, or end-of-season sale, which also breached the pre pandemic level.
EOSS used to start by mid-June, but since many retailers were reporting good sales at full price, they postponed the sales this year. This, in turn, affected sales in June, they said.
Contrary to the weak demand sentiments across daily essentials and consumer goods, lifestyle retailers have recorded healthy footfalls and same store sales growth (SSSG) in the top tier cities and malls over the last few months with a healthy pick up in store additions.
Most categories witnessed a double-digit increase with sports goods and jewellery seeing a 27-29% jump in sales followed by quick service restaurants (QSR) and consumer durables posting 16% sales increase.
The sales expansion comes on the back of price increases in the past few quarters although recent moderation in raw material prices should cushion gross margins for retailers.