The pace of growth was seen dropping off towards last week of December on fresh curbs by States
Retail sales growth witnessed a slowdown in the country in December compared to the pre-pandemic levels due to rising Covid cases.
While the overall growth was positive, some discretionary spends driven categories witnessed a de-growth compared to pre-pandemic levels. “Beauty, wellness & personal care (-7 per cent), furniture and furnishings (-5 per cent) slipped into the red once again as compared to the pre-pandemic sales in December 2019. Sales across consumer durables and electronics (26 per cent), sports goods (14 per cent), jewellery (9 per cent), footwear (7 per cent ) and apparel & clothing (2 per cent) too started to lose steam,” the survey stated.
Retail sales growth in the southern region was estimated at 8 per cent in December 2021 compared to December 2019. At the same time, sales witnessed a growth of about 11 per cent in Northern region in December compared to pre-pandemic levels. Meanwhile, retail sales in the western and eastern region grew by 9 per cent and 3 per cent respectively in December, RAI stated.
The industry body has appealed to the Centre to instruct the State Governments to refrain from imposing restrictions based on positivity rate and consider hospitalisations as the criteria to determine the severity instead as most of the country’s population is vaccinated. “Doing so will avoid unnecessary panic among citizens and businesses while minimising the impact on livelihoods,” it added.