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    Retail sales recover to 93% of pre-pandemic levels in February: RAI survey

    Retail sales recover to 93% of pre-pandemic levels in February: RAI survey

    Retail sales recover to 93% of pre-pandemic levels in February: RAI survey
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    By Shilpa Ranipeta   IST (Published)

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    The retail industry is on the path of recovery with sales in February 2021 returning to 93 percent of pre-COVID levels, Retailers Association of India (RAI) said in its Retail Business Survey on Tuesday

    The retail industry is on the path of recovery with sales in February 2021 returning to 93 percent of pre-COVID levels, the Retailers Association of India (RAI) said in its Retail Business Survey on Tuesday.
    RAI’s survey showed that while retail sales in the month of February saw a 7 percent de-growth compared to the same period last year, it is a 10 percent improvement compared to January 2021 that saw a 17 percent de-growth.
    The recovery has been led by Quick Service Restaurants (QSR) and consumer durables, which grew 18 percent and 15 percent respectively compared to the same period last year. Other categories that are seeing a significant improvement are beauty, wellness & personal care, Footwear and jewellery.
    Based on the survey, RAI said that the retail industry would see signals of growth from March 2021.
    Geographically, the eastern part of India registered a positive growth of about 2 percent in February, while southern and northern India continue to de-grow at 6% and -9% respectively. Western India, however, is seeing a slower recovery with a de-growth of 16% in February, compared to 21 percent de-growth in January.
    The year 2020 saw business drastically fall for retailers, especially due to the closure of stores during the national lockdown in the months of March-June. During its survey last year in October, RAI had said that the retail industry saw a 50 percent fall in business in the July-September period and a 78 percent fall in April-June
    In December, RAI had said that retailers were cautiously optimistic about 2021 and were targeting around 85 percent of pre-pandemic growth levels in the six months of 2021.
    However, an uptick in COVID cases India, especially in Maharashtra, could cast a shadow on the growth momentum, Kumar Rajagopalan, CEO, Retailers Association of India (RAI), said.
    “Restrictions or not, it has now become imperative for every retailer to adopt phygital in various ways—be it social media, messaging platforms, or digital shopping in addition to their normal channels to align themselves with the changing consumer mindsets of the Next Normal,” he added.
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