Retailers expect moderate growth ahead of holiday season amid slower growth in sales of low-cost items: RAI

Ease of doing business for MSMEs: Retailers including MSME units in the country are expecting a trend of moderate sales growth ahead of the festive season as the year-on-year growth rate in recent months by compared to the pre-Covid period continues to decline. The latest edition of the Retailers Association of India (RAI) retail survey noted on Tuesday that retail units across India were registering only 15% growth in sales from levels of August 2019. This figure was down 18% in July compared to the period of the previous year, while the figures for April and May were 23% and 24% compared to April 2019 and May 2019 respectively.

“There was 20-22% growth each month, but now there seems to be a lull, especially among customers in lower income groups. Low priced items are not selling as fast as they probably should due to inflationary pressure. Growth may pick up around Dusshera, but we will have to wait and watch,” RAI CEO Kumar Rajagopalan told FEAspire (formerly Financial Express Online).

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Regionally, sales growth from August 2019 levels was notable. Sales in eastern India increased by 19%, while in the south they recorded a growth of 12%. Similarly, North India recorded an 18% growth while the West saw an 11% jump. In terms of categories, growth increased steadily, with sporting goods posting a strong performance, followed by footwear, QSR and jewelry which performed better than other categories in August 2022, according to the survey.

MSMEs have been a vital cog in the country’s retail ecosystem. According to a survey conducted earlier this year by merchant body CAIT, more than 30,000 regional small and medium enterprise (SME) brands in the country serve Indian retail, compared to around 3,000 corporate brands. particularly present in fast-moving consumer goods. (FMCG), durable consumer goods, cosmetics and other segments. While corporate brands meet the demand of almost 20% of the Indian population, the remaining 80% are satisfied by SME brands.

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