Retailers Association of India (RAI) has urged the government to extend support to help revive retail as retailers across fashion, electronics and grocery segments hope to achieve about 85 per cent of pre-pandemic level business in the next six months. As per latest business survey by RAI, retailers across India have been registering steady month-on-month recovery driven by festive sales in November 2020 falling just 13 per cent short of last year’s sales.
In November, consumer durables and electronics category recorded 12 per cent year-on-year sales followed by the food and grocery category which recorded 5 per cent sales growth. Apparel and clothing segment is still under pressure with about -12 per cent year-on-year sales growth compared to pre-pandemic the survey added. As per RAI, with local level restrictions imposed in several states in fear of a second wave of COVID-19 cases, retailers are approaching 2021 with cautious optimism. While western and eastern regions are indicating slower recovery with sales at -18 per cent and -17 per cent respectively, northern and southern regions are progressing at -9 per cent, on a year-on-year comparison.
According to RAI, sized around $854 billion, the retail industry is one of the country’s largest industries and makes up for over 10 per cent of its gross domestic product (GDP). The industry employs 46 million people, of which 90 per cent are in blue collar segment. Fashion and electronics contribute 50 per cent to the total retail while food and other essentials account for the rest.