NEW DELHI: As Indians are forced to stay at home amid a surge in Omicron cases, retailers across the country are struggling with massive losses.
The increase in Covid cases and subsequent restrictions have had a direct impact on business activities across India, which resulted in a business loss of 50% in the last 15 days, the Confederation of all Indian Traders (CAIT) said on Monday.
Stating that the total retail trade in the country is about `150 lakh crore, the industry body said “The out-of-town buyer is not going out of his city, whereas the consumers are also going to the market to buy goods only when it is really important.”
The estimated downfall, according to CAIT National President BC Bhartia and Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal, is roughly 35% in FMCG, 50% in electronics, 50% in mobiles, 35% in daily consumption items, 60% in footwear, 65% in toys, 70% in gift items, 30% in apparel, 40% in textiles, 30% in cosmetics, among others.
Ratings agency Crisil in a research note last week also said malls could see their rental revenues drop by 10% this fiscal. Similarly, Retailers Association of India CEO Kumar Rajagopalan, in a report by RAI, said retail business was growing steadily during most of December. However, the pace was dropping off towards the last week due to the fresh curbs.
Although the overall figures seemed positive with 26% y-o-y growth in Dec 2021, the impact could be seen at category level with the beauty, wellness & personal care (-7%), furniture and furnishings (-5%) slipping into the red once again as compared to the sales the year before, Rajagopalan had added.
On the bright side, however, Shopping Centres Association of India (SCAI) said mall owners will stand by their tenants as they did in the last two waves and offer rental relief.