Localised lockdowns slowing revival, impacting retail sales: RAI survey

A policeman stands guard near a closed market after the authorities imposed weekend lockdown from Friday (6 PM) to Monday (6 AM) due to surge in Covid-19 cases, in Jammu

Localised lockdowns are slowing down revival and impacting retail sales as retailers saw de-growth of 52 per cent in August as compared to the same month last year, although there is a marginal recovery from the preceding months this year, according to a survey by RAI.

As per the 6th edition of the Retail Business Survey by the Retailers Association of India (RAI), the only category that showed a significant improvement was consumer durables, though sales were still down 23 per cent compared to the year-ago month.

RAI said other sectors continued to be sluggish with the food and grocery category down by 46 per cent, footwear fell 47 per cent, apparel and clothing plummetted 54 per cent, sports goods dropped 58 per cent and beauty and wellness slipped 56 per cent.

Regionwise, the country's southern region posted a bit lesser impact with sales declining 46 per cent, followed by eastern part that dropped 52 per cent, and western and northern parts that saw a fall of 54 per cent last month as compared to August 2019.

"On the whole, across regions, large retailers are performing marginally better than medium-sized retailers," it added.

RAI said, "The smooth rollout of Unlock 3.0 in August 2020 encountered hurdles in the form of localised lockdowns in some states interrupting business planning and operations. The lockdowns are slowing down revival."

Commenting on the findings, RAI CEO Kumar Rajagopalan said, "The retail industry has started to witness some green shoots, especially in states that are allowing retail to operate with fewer interruptions."

He further said, "Support from governments at local levels across the country with the assurance of no more localised lockdowns will help fast-track recovery of sales during the upcoming festive season to almost to the same levels as last year...perhaps just 20 per cent short of last year's figures. Some segments may even do better.


(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


Dear Reader,


Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.

We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel