Retail sales down 49% in April: Report

Retail sales

NEW DELHI : The second wave of covid-19 in India and subsequent restrictions imposed by several states have hurt retailers of apparel, footwear, personal care goods, electronics, and quick-service restaurants with most reporting a significant decline in sales in April 2021 compared with April 2019, according to a monthly survey of retailers by Retailers’ Association of India (RAI).

The survey was conducted among 63 participants pan-India, and covered retailers across product categories.

The survey highlights the pain lockdowns have brought about for retailers across India.

Several states have ordered non-essential stores to remain shut as part of lockdowns. Retailers of food and grocery, though, are allowed to open. Several states are also observing restricted timings for opening of essentials stores.

The sharpest decline was seen in retailers of sports goods, which reported a 66% drop in business in April 2021 compared with April 2019, followed by footwear and beauty and wellness retailers. Consumer durables and electronics retailers saw business drop 31% in April—the least among all categories of retailers surveyed.

Retailers in west India, which saw states such as Maharashtra impose a lockdown in several districts in March, reported the steepest decline in business with a 72% drop in April. Retailers in east India reported the least impact on business. Those in north India saw business decline by 45% in April; in south, retailers said business was down 40% in the same period compared with April 2019.

Retailers, both big and small, in parts of west India reported a significant decline in business—those with a reported annual turnover of up to ?20 crore were down 87% during the period.

Data for May is yet to be released by RAI. Given that more states moved to some form of restrictions in May, retailers could continue to report a significant decline in sales.

RAI’s data comes as India is battling a severe second wave of covid-19. While cases have been on a decline, a general sense of anxiety among consumers and restrictions on mobility are likely to impact household spending.

News Source:- Livemint

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