Ease of Doing Business for MSMEs: As compared to September 2020, the retail sales had recovered by 26 per cent in September 2021 with consumer durables & electronics, food and groceries, and quick service restaurants (QSR) indicating double-digit growth on pre-pandemic levels.
Ease of Doing Business for MSMEs: Retail businesses, which largely comprise MSMEs, has neared full recovery in September from the pandemic impact as sales during the month stood at 96 per cent of the pre-Covid sales level. The uptick in retail sales has been visible post relaxation in Covid-related restrictions enforced during the second wave in February this year that had halted retail recovery for the following two-three months. The overall monthly sales recovery in retail was 88 per cent in August in comparison to August 2019 and 72 per cent in July vis-a-vis July 2019. The current festive season, which would last till the new year, is expected to help retail sales cross the pre-pandemic levels.
The data on sales recovery was based on the monthly survey of retail businesses by the Retailers Association of India (RAI). “As compared to September 2020, there is a 26 per cent growth in sales in the month of September 2021,” the survey noted.
“Full recovery is possible in October depending on the retail category. In fact, there can be as much as 10-15 per cent growth and provided there is no third wave. The biggest boost will be from the point of view of garments, wearable accessories, footwear, jewellery, etc., that depicts customer cheer in the market. There is some amount of pent-up demand and people have money to spend this festive season which is likely to help recover the sector further,” Kumar Rajagopalan, CEO, RAI told Financial Express Online.
Consumer durables & electronics, food and groceries, and quick service restaurants (QSR) have fully recovered and are indicating double-digit growth on pre-pandemic levels, according to the data. On the other hand, sports goods and apparel & clothing have also started to pick up pace as socialising and offices resume. However, categories such as beauty and Wellness which include salons, footwear, and jewellery are yet to catch up to the pre-pandemic levels of sales.
“Hair segment has picked up well by around 50 per cent and is likely to hit 60-65 per cent ahead as customers are more comfortable since they don’t have to remove the mask. Through the hair segment, the beauty and wellness sector has been able to reopen their doors to customers post-pandemic. However, spas have hardly recovered by around 10 per cent while beauty and skincare services have recovered by 35-40 per cent. During the current festive season, we expect the segment to cross 70 per cent,” Rekha Chaudhari, Managing Director, Oneline Wellness told Financial Express Online. Chaudhari had last year launched Indian Professional Beauty & Wellness Hygiene Alliance to address Covid impact on the sector.
“A lot of players have exceeded 80 per cent of their pre-Covid sales in casual dining space at least. However, every city has a different recovery path as every city has been under different restrictions. For instance, restaurant timing in Delhi has been normalised but not in Noida while timing in Gururgram got normalised prior to any other city but Mumbai’s timings are still restricted, etc.,” Kabir Suri, Co-founder and Director, Azure Hospitality had told Financial Express Online about the recovery in August.