Retailers witnessed sluggish demand in May amidst elections, but are betting on a better second half. May sales were mostly led by essentials and consumer durables, including a strong demand for cooling products.  

According to the latest Retail Business Survey released by the  Retailers Association of India (RAI), sales growth in May 2024 was 3 per cent compared to a year ago. 

Kumar Rajagopalan, CEO of RAI, said, ”While consumer spending on non-essential items remains cautious, categories such as food, grocery, and consumer durables have shown a positive growth trajectory. Retailers are looking forward to business post election season. Budget in July will hopefully provide much-needed incentives to bolster consumer confidence and support further growth in the retail sector.”

Retail businesses in South India saw the highest increase in sales at 4 per cent, followed by East and West India at 3 per cent each, and North India at 2 per cent. 

In terms of categories, food and grocery and consumer durables/electronics reported growth of 6 per cent each. The quick service restaurant segment witnessed 5 per cent growth.

Beauty and wellness, furniture and furnishings, and footwear segments saw sales growth of 3 per cent each in May year-on-year.

But apparel and clothing, jewellery and sporting goods was nearly flat at 1 per cent each , the RAI survey indicated.

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