The situation for retail in the country remains dismal with almost all the states in India witnessing a slump in visits for retail and recreation related activities in May as compared to pre-COVID period.
The situation for retail in the country remains dismal with almost all the states in India witnessing a slump in visits for retail and recreation related activities in May as compared to pre-COVID period. In fact, India is among the top ten countries where retail has suffered the most when compared to the baseline of January and February, according to the latest report by Google on mobility. While other countries have witnessed a dip of 25% in retail activity due to coronavirus, India is currently witnessing a decline of 57%, more than double the average of other countries. The situation in India has however, become better than the beginning of the lockdown as retail was down by 85% at that time.
Segments such as grocery and pharmacy shopping have returned to pre-pandemic levels in the country, according to Google location data. As offices gradually begin to open in Unlock phase 1, two-thirds of workplace and transit activity has also been restored in India. However, skepticism prevails for non-essential activities and consumers stay away from malls and marketplaces.
Meanwhile, Jammu and Kashmir is the only Indian region where visits to retail and recreational places such as malls, restaurants, cafes went up amid lockdown. While all other Indian states have shown a marked dip in travels to parks, supermarkets, pharmacies, retail and recreation, Jammu and Kashmir has bucked the trend and even public travel saw a huge surge by 347% from the baseline (Jan-Feb), according to the report. In fact, retail and recreation has spiked by almost 100%, mobility to supermarket and pharmacy by 280%, parks by 334%, and workplaces by over 250% in May. In the other states, however, the situation for all these segments has been dismal.
Google has come up with the aggregated report of user travels based on the location settings of an individual. The company said that there are no privacy concerns as the data has been anonymised. “Each Community Mobility Report data set is presented by location, and highlights the percentage change in visits to places like supermarkets and parks within a geographic area,” the report said.