Retail sales during June were half of what they were back during the same month in June 2019, according to data by the Retailers Association of India. That is a slight improvement over May when sales were barely one-fifth of the numbers logged in May 2019. Yet, it is evident that COVID-related restrictions are hurting retailers bad.
The year-on-year comparison may not give a fair picture, considering that the lockdown was even more stringent during the same period last year.
The only bright spot was quick service restaurants (QSR), where sales were down 10 percent in June compared to a 70 percent decline in May—both numbers compared with the corresponding periods in 2019.
“Retail businesses continue to be stressed and are finding it difficult to sustain due to restricted timing of operations and weekend closures,” Kumar Rajagopalan, CEO, Retailers Association of India (RAI) said. The worst hit was the eastern part of the country, where retail sales were down 55 percent compared to Juen 2019.
Here is how the numbers stack up: