NEW DELHI: According to a survey by the Retailers Association of India (RAI), it reports that with the gradual lifting of lockdowns across several states, retail sales in India have improved and in July 2021, they stood at 72 percent of the pre-pandemic levels of July 2019. It said, In June, the retail sales stood at 50 percent of the pre-pandemic levels.
In a statement, the Association noted that retail businesses in the southern part of India have indicated a very sharp comeback in July 2021 with sales at 82 percent of the pre-pandemic levels. The western region is yet to improve and has indicated sales at 57 percent of pre-pandemic levels. This is mainly because of prolonged curbs in Maharashtra that disrupted the smooth functioning of modern retail in the state, it added
In categories, Quick Service Restaurants (QSR) recovered the best in July 2021 with sales at 97 percent of the pre-pandemic levels (July 2019). However, the beauty & wellness segment, which includes salons, is still at 50 percent of pre-pandemic sales, while apparel is at 63 percent sales of the pre-pandemic levels in July 2021, it said.
The industry body noted that retail is the fastest growing sector in terms of employment generation and is second only to agriculture in terms of the number of people it directly employs, besides creating indirect employment opportunities.