NEW DELHI: Following a difficult year during which retailers had to adapt to the challenges of the pandemic, retail sales have made significant progress in February. According to a survey released by the Retailers Association of India (RAI), sales at retail outlets have reached 93 per cent of their pre-pandemic levels in February.
While retail sales recorded a 7 per cent de-growth during the month over last year, there has been a strong turnaround compared to the previous month of January, which had recorded a 17 per cent de-growth.
“The quantum of de-growth in retail sales reduced as most segments have started to show significant improvement.
We hope that the uncertainty regarding the rising cases of Covid-19 in a few states will not cast its shadow on the growth momentum with the rollout of the vaccine,” said RAI CEO Kumar Rajagopalan. RAI also noted that just two of the eight retail categories are in the positive zone—Quick Service Restaurants (QSR) grew 18 per cent, consumer durables saw a 15 per cent year-on-year increase compared to last February.
Other categories such as beauty, wellness & personal care, footwear and jewellery—that proved to be resilient throughout the health crisis—made encouraging progress too. Sales of clothing and apparel, however, saw a de-growth of 12 per cent in February compared to a 17 per cent de-growth in the previous month. Region-wise, Eastern India registered a 2 per cent growth, while southern and northern India continued to de-grow at six per cent and nine per cent, respectively. Western India,saw a de-growth of 16 per cent.