Retail sales down by 13% in November: RAI

The industry is now hopeful of achieving about 85 per cent of pre-pandemic levels of business in the next six months.

Published: 29th December 2020 07:58 AM  |   Last Updated: 29th December 2020 07:58 AM   |  A+A-

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By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: Retailers are looking at 2021 with cautious optimism even as the industry is yet to return to pre-pandemic levels. According to a recent surbey from the Retailers Association of India (RAI), retail sales in the festive month of November were down 13 per cent year, albeit steady sequential improvement was witnessed.

“While the festival and the wedding season aided some recovery for certain segments, the lack of inbound travel of non-resident Indians during the winter has had a negative impact on sales. Retail businesses may get further impacted by international travel restrictions being imposed due to the new strain of the virus,” said Kumar Rajagopalan, CEO, RAI. Furthermore, with local level restrictions coming back into play, retailers are marching towards 2021 with cautious optimism. 

The industry is now hopeful of achieving about 85 per cent of pre-pandemic levels of business in the next six months. Rajagopalan added that the $854-billion retail industry will need unconventional solutions and government support for recovery. The 10th edition of RAI’s survey conducted among 68 retailers during November noted that sales of consumer durables and electronics category grew at 12 per cent (y-o-y) while food and grocery retailers indicated growth of five per cent.

Apparel and clothing retailers have remained under pressure with sales going down by 12 per cent. Quick Services Resturants (QSR) sales were down 25 per cent in November compared to a year ago period, while that of beauty and personal care retailers fell 29 per cent during the period.  Jewellery sales also showed a 21 per cent decline over 2019.Region wise, South and North India performed better. “Levels of recovery differ as restrictions begin to ease in a capricious manner. West and East India are indicating a slower recovery,” RAI added.


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