Retail sales up 20-30% in week leading to Xmas

27 Dec,2012

By A Correspondent

 

Consumers are splurging on everything from wines to smartphones, making this a merry Christmas for retailers and consumer goods firms alike.

 

Retailers say sales in the seven-to-ten days leading up to Christmas have shot up 20-30% over the same period last year, despite the absence of major discounts and promotion schemes. Better-than-expected consumer demand is likely to encourage retailers to hold back end-of-season discounts till mid-January, unlike last year when they advanced markdowns by a week because of poor offtake.

 

“It’s rare, but the way year-end sales have picked up this year, we are confident these 10 days will notch up revenues almost equivalent to the Diwali period,” said Spencer’s Retail CEO Mohit Kampani. Sales of bakery products, wine, liquor, meat and fish have grown 50% compared with the same period last year.

 

Demand has remained firm since Diwali as retail chains feel rising Sensex and the government’s recent policy initiatives have buoyed sentiment. “This quarter has been one of the best since 2008. Demand has been consistent across categories,” said Future Group CEO Kishore Biyani. India’s largest retailer has seen brisk sales of smartphones, microwave ovens, LED TVs and apparel during the year-end.

 

Lifestyle apparel retailer ITC Wills Lifestyle has recorded 15% growth in same-store sales and 25% jump in overall sales since October. “The number of serious shoppers is much more this quarter with a greater number of people walking in and making purchases than we have seen in the past couple of years. The festive spirit and mood have continued from Diwali till Christmas-New Year,” said ITC Wills Lifestyle CEO Atul Chand.

 

Despite large-scale public protests in New Delhi, footfalls and sales in the National Capital Region remained strong during the past few days. Sales at Select Citywalk Mall in Saket are up 10-15% compared with last Christmas.

 

DLF Brands Chief Executive Dipak Agarwal said the better-than-expected spending by consumers means the retailer will start discounts from mid-January compared to last year when it advanced sales by a week. “Sales in the past one week have picked up,” he said, adding that revenues at his stores rose 30% compared to the previous weeks. DLF Brands vends brands such as Mango, DKNY and Mothercare.

 

Lokesh Mishra, vice-president for sales at Clarks Future Footwear, said the past week was one of the best for the company in a long time as sales jumped almost 19% compared to average weekly sales. “The weekend was especially fantastic,” he said, without sharing figures.

 

It’s been a good few days for fine-dining as well, with guests ordering lobster, whole bekti, duck, turkey, wine bottles and malt whiskey, said Specialty Restaurants CMD Anjan Chatterjee. The company, which owns 98 fine-dining restaurants including the flagship Mainland China, has seen substantial sales growth in the past 10 days.

 

Source:The Economic Times

Copyright © 2012, Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. All Rights Reserved

 

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