A pre-pandemic scene at a jewellery store in India. Anindito Mukherjee/ Reuters
Categories such as sportswear, jewellery and footwear are among the hardest hit as retail sales declined 49 percent in April, compared to the same month in 2019, according to a Retailers Association of India survey.
Lockdowns across the country, which began with the western state of Maharashtra in late March, combined with sombre consumer sentiment amid the country’s devastating second wave of Covid-19 infections are derailing retail sales.
Now, as cases decline and major metropolitan regions eye re-opening, questions remain as to how quickly retail sales might be able to bounce back. Even when Indian consumers are more easily able to shop again, it’s unclear whether they will be in the mood to spend.