ECONOMY

Retail Sales Stay Below Pre-Pandemic Level In July

Retail sales stayed below the pre-pandemic level two years back even as local lockdowns to curtail a deadlier second wave of Covid-19 were gradually eased.

Retail sales in July 2021 were at 72% of the July 2019 level, with businesses in south India witnessing the highest recovery, Retailers Association of India said in a media statement. In June, retail sales were at 50% of the pre-pandemic levels.

Quick-service restaurants, the statement said, witnessed the highest recovery in the reported month, with sales at 97% compared with July 2019. But beauty and wellness, including salons, is the worst-hit as sales are still at 50% of the pre-pandemic level. Apparel sales are at 63% of July 2019 levels.

“There’s a possibility of significant sales recovery for retail businesses as the festive season approaches, provided restrictions on modern retail are relaxed across the country allowing smooth operations and return to normalcy,” Kumar Rajagopalan, chief executive officer at the association, was quoted as saying in the statement.

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