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shree cement: EOSS fails to lift sales for retailers this year

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End of season sales (EOSS) has failed to lift sales for retailers this year, reporting only 7% growth in June from a year ago, despite EOSS starting early.

Delhi rains made it worse in July for shopping complexes as shoppers preferred to stay indoors during the flood-like situation.

According to the Retail Business Survey by the Retailers Association of India (RAI), June 2023 showed a moderate growth of 7% compared to the sales levels during the same period last year.

Last year, the growth rate in June was over 50% due to the low base of 2021. But in the pre-pandemic year of 2019, growth was 13% for the same month.

“The growth has been muted and is expected to continue like this till September. The EOSS start was very slow but there has been some improvement in the last two weeks. Still, in comparison to last year and pre pandemic, it’s very muted,” said Lifestyle CEO Devarajan Iyer.

Retailers were expecting some recovery by offering hefty discounts during the end of season sales, but there has been only a marginal growth in both footfall and sale.”Due to the slow growth rate in the last 3-4 months, we have also slowed down the expansion. We were planning to open one store every 30 days, now we are opening one at 50 days. We expect the festive buying to start from September, that will help in double-digit growth,” said Sameer Manglani, owner of Meena Bazaar.According to RAI data, south India reported growth of 8%, while east India and west India indicated a growth of 7% and 6%, followed by north India at 5%.

“Food & grocery and footwear showed growth at 15%, while jewellery showed 14% growth. As consumers are now getting into their normal business routines, we are witnessing moderate growth over previous year,” said Kumar Rajagopalan, CEO, Retailers Association of India (RAI).

Retailers traditionally launch EOSS by June end, before fresh season merchandise hits their shelves. However, brands started the sale mid-June and it’s likely to continue till the end of July.

Retailers who largely focus on to clear out inventory during EOSS are now hoping for festive season to improve sales.

“Growth rate has flattened for the last few months, and even the EOSS couldn’t change it. Rain has not helped either. There is still some stress in the markets outside the top 8-9 cities,” said Satyen Momaya, CEO of French apparel brand Celio.

The growth rate has slowed down March onwards, indicating slowest sales expansion in over 14 months.

Mall operators in Delhi-NCR said rain was not helping either, as consumers are worried about getting stuck in traffic.

“The footfall has gone down due to the rain as people are cautious. This has resulted in slowdown of sales as well,” said Harsh V Bansal, co-founder of the Unity group that operates over half a dozen malls in Delhi and Punjab.

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