A survey by the Retailers Association of India (RAI) has revealed, in August Indian retailers witnessed a marginal recovery in business compared to July, even though localized lockdown in some states during Unlock 3.0 phase interrupted the growth of retail in the country.
The Survey say, retail sales shrank 52 per cent from a year earlier in August. The only category that showed a significant improvement in August was consumer durables, though their sales were still 23 per cent less than a year earlier. Sales in the food and grocery category declined by 46 per cent, footwear by 47 per cent, apparel and clothing by 54 per cent, sports goods by 58 per cent and beauty and wellness by 56 per cent all recorded sales around half of August last year.
The southern region fared slightly better with a 46 per cent sales decline, followed by East with a 52 per cent decline and West & North 54 per cent decline on a y-o-y basis. Across regions, large retailers performed marginally better than medium-sized ones.
Despite unlock 4.0 orders by the Central government, local authorities in some states continue to impose partial lockdowns, which is dampening consumer sentiment and hampering recovery, the association said. It appealed to the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade and the home ministry to instruct these states to adhere to the central government’s guidelines as any shutdowns should be very carefully calibrated to ensure a balance between lives and livelihoods.