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retail | IST

Festive cheer catching up; retailers expect healthy consumption trend in October

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The Retailer's Association of India says that sales in September have recovered to 96 percent over the pre-pandemic levels. To discuss how October is shaping up, CNBC-TV18 spoke with Kumar Rajagopalan, CEO, Retailers Association of India and Lalit Agarwal, Chairman and Managing Director, V-Mart Retail.

The festive season is here with Navratri/Durga Puja being celebrated in various parts of the country and Dussehra just a day away. The retail sector has tried encashing on this yearly crest in a bid to bounce back from the coronavirus inflicted slowdown.
The Retailer's Association of India says that sales in September have recovered to 96 percent over the pre-pandemic levels. To discuss how October is shaping up, CNBC-TV18 spoke with Kumar Rajagopalan, CEO, Retailers Association of India and Lalit Agarwal, Chairman and Managing Director, V-Mart Retail.
From retail standpoint, consumers are trying to get more cheerful and the trend in September was good and this should pick up, according to Rajagopalan.
According to Nilesh Gupta of Vijay Sales, this Diwali would be even bigger than 2019.
"We likely to surpass the 2019 levels," Rajagopalan said, “If we don't have a third wave, I believe that we will have a fantastic season this time."
Key factors at play
There are two-three reasons for the retail bounce, according to the retail association head.  One, customers have the spending itch.
"Customers are tired of sitting at home, tired of feeling not so nice about themselves. They also are wanting to be thankful for the way they have come past these problems, and the way in which their relationships have got reaffirmed, think that's a very beautiful thing. Second, when consumers feel good, that sense of cheer automatically lands up into some amount of spending into the retail businesses. Third, retail businesses themselves have got completely redesigned, it's all got digital," he explained.
V-Mart Retail's Agarwal said things are looking much better than what they were expecting.
"In spite of inflation in the raw material prices in apparel and in fashion, we have seen consumers picking still lower pricing products, which is clearly showing that the customer is facing that challenge of his budget, his pocket where he has got a dent in the last pandemic. And that will surely show up, but the excitement is very high, people are out in the market. We saw a very good footfall coming in during Durga Puja in the eastern part of India, which is the start of the festival period,” said Agarwal.
For the entire discussion, watch the video