New Delhi: Retail businesses across India reported a 23% jump in April compared to pre-pandemic levels of April 2019, suggesting a strong uptick in consumer demand.
“As compared to the pre-pandemic sales level in April 2019, retail businesses across regions have indicated growth in April 2022 with sales in North India indicating growth of 32%, West India showing growth of 24%, East India and South India reporting growth of 18% each,” according to the 27th edition of the Retail Business Survey by the Retailers Association of India (RAI).
Sales across categories continue to indicate steady growth, although beauty & wellness category is yet to come out of the red, reporting a 1% dip in demand.it said.
Quick service restaurant chains reported the sharpest recovery with a 45% jump in April sales compared to April 2019, followed by retailers of electronics and consumer appliances and sports goods as well as apparel. Compared to a year-ago period, all categories reported a double digital growth led by QSRs and sports goods retailers.
Meanwhile, Kumar Rajagopalan, CEO, Retailers Association of India, cautioned that 10% of the growth reported during the month was on account of inflation.
While consumers are returning to stores, they are also facing the pressure from higher prices of foods. Inflation could be hurting consumer demand, he warned.
“It is heartening to see that customers are back in the stores, shopping and retailers are witnessing quantity growth in sales. While most of the categories have shown good performance, it is important to note that about 10% of this growth can be accounted to inflation. We do hope that this continues since the headwinds, thanks to inflation, could act as a dampener for the upward trajectory,” Rajagopalan said.