With the festive season around the corner, Nilesh Gupta, managing partner, Vijay Sales, and Kumar Rajagopalan, CEO, Retailers Association of India, discussed the demand picture as India recovers from the second wave of COVID-19.
Gupta is seeing robust sales in the consumer durables space. “The moment the unlock happened, the market picked up very well in consumer durables. However, the slight increase in the number of COVID cases is a cause for concern. And if we do not have any further wave, then I expect this year’s Diwali to be one of the best Diwalis looking at the trends in the consumer durables space,” he said.
Gupta sees a structural shift in consumer behaviour.
“This is a structural shift, which has happened. And this is now going to be there for a long time because everybody has realized the importance of the consumer durables, entertainment and productivity products, which they have. So, I very well see this as a sustainable trend. And it's only going to grow. The average ticket price has gone up primarily because people are upgrading to a different level altogether,” Gupta added.
When asked when one can expect full resumption of activities on the mall and the retailing side, Rajagopalan said, “Most parts of the country, the retail businesses are now open. So, there is this cautious optimism that is building up. I think there is a possibility that things could come out to be really well for us. On the other hand, I think it's also like a race now. It's about how many vaccinations are happening versus how is the COVID pandemic picking up. If we land up in a situation where vaccinations outnumber the pandemic, I think we are in a great run, going forward.”
For the entire discussion, watch the accompanying video.