Food, grocery, restaurant sectors help India’s retail market finally cross pre-Covid sales level

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Updated: November 14, 2021 3:06 PM

Ease of Doing Business for MSMEs: While overall retail sales in October showed 34 per cent growth from October 2020 levels, furniture & furnishing, beauty/wellness & personal care, and footwear segments were yet to achieve full recovery.

According to RAI, as the country achieves inoculation of more than one billion citizens, the retail industry is hopeful of setting a steady pace of recovery during the ongoing festive quarter. (Image: Pexels.com)

Ease of Doing Business for MSMEs: MSME-dominated food and grocery retail market in India has led the retail sales recovery beyond the pre-pandemic levels in October. The sales growth for the food and grocery segment stood at an impressive 31 per cent from October 2019. Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) segment also achieved 29 per cent growth from October 2019 levels. Among the nine sub-sectors in the overall retail sector in India, food & grocery and restaurants segments recorded the highest growth levels in comparison to the pre-pandemic levels. The data was shared by retailers’ body Retailers Association of India (RAI) in its latest market survey. Sports good and jewellery markets also achieved scale with 26 per cent and 24 per cent growth respectively in October from 2019 levels.

“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 had told Financial Express Online.

While overall retail sales showed 14 per cent growth in October from pre-Covid levels and 34 per cent growth from October 2020 levels after nearing 100 per cent recovery in September this year, furniture & furnishing, beauty/wellness & personal care, footwear segments were yet to achieve full recovery. The three sectors fell short by 4 per cent, 7 per cent, and 2 per cent in their October sales to achieve pre-pandemic level growth.

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“In order to understand the complete impact of the festival season on retail sales, it is essential to see the figures of October and November combined. We would await the results for the month of November to draw definitive conclusions. However, all the signs indicate a positive trend,” said Rajagopalan in the survey.

The recovery in key sectors is also likely contributed by the ongoing festive season particularly Diwali as people thronged markets for festive purchases such as jewellery, apparel, while restaurants were also able to leverage the recovery along with the high rate of vaccination. According to RAI, as the country achieves inoculation of more than one billion citizens, the retail industry is hopeful of setting a steady pace of recovery during the ongoing festive quarter.

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