Consumer firms see double-digit growth on festive shopping


Consumer durables firms and fashion retailers expect double-digit growth in value terms in the ongoing festival season as consumers have stepped up purchases during this period.

They expect to see value sales growth upwards of 15 per cent, which is especially coming in from cities.

However, volume growth may lag behind value growth.

During the festival period spread across October-November, Godrej Appliances expects to see value growth of 20 per cent as it sees high demand for premium white goods.

“Demand is largely driven by premium products and is concentrated in city markets, while demand from rural areas continues to remain under pressure,” Kamal Nandi, business head and executive vice-president of Godrej Appliances, part of Godrej & Boyce, told Business Standard.

He said volume growth is expected to be in the range of 10-12 per cent.

Another executive from a consumer durable retail chain, requesting anonymity, said that demand from the earlier part of the month was good and there has been a pick-up in sales, especially on festival days since August.

He expects value sales growth to be in double digits.

The executive pointed out that demand had been choppy on non-festival days and demand at the mass end continued to suffer, but that could be due to it coming off from a good base of last year.

The retailer also said that while it was witnessing volume growth, it was in low double digits.

On a positive note, while the summer season this year was impacted by unseasonal rains, which in turn had an impact on air conditioners and refrigerators, demand for these products has witnessed a comeback in October.

Retailers have seen higher than usual demand for air conditioners.

Vijay Sales has witnessed a 10-15 per cent rise in sales of air conditioners in the last couple of weeks, as compared to a normal October due to slight warm weather across the country.

The retailer expects air conditioner sales to do better on an annualised basis.

Another retailer has seen high double-digit demand for air conditioners due to higher than normal temperatures.

“The consumer sentiment in buying has been very positive this season,” Nilesh Gupta, managing director, Vijay Sales, said, while adding that people were buying goods even during shradh — a time when most Hindus are expected to abstain from luxury.

“Sales have been pretty robust and on Dusshera we have seen growth upwards of 20 per cent in value sales,” Gupta said.

He also pointed out that the Cricket World Cup had been the icing on the cake this Diwali, and was boosting TV sales, especially large screen TVs.

Kitchen appliances, too, he said, were seeing an uptick in demand this season.

The retailer is expecting a growth of 15-20 per cent in the category.

While demand isn’t as robust for apparel as it is for consumer durables, it is still better compared to the previous year’s festival season.

“Demand is better than last year and is expected to be higher by 10 per cent compared to last year.

“As we approach diwali, this number will improve,” said Lalit Agarwal, founder and managing director, V-Mart Retail.

Agarwal pointed out that so far, East India had seen a good pick-up due to puja, and the North was witnessing demand for winter wear as the temperature had started to drop and the South was slowly witnessing a demand pick-up.

Fashion chain Lifestyle is also witnessing good demand since the weekend and the overall growth has been in the early double digits.

“On a like-for-like (same store sales) basis, we have seen low single-digit sales which will improve as we move towards diwali,” said Devarajan Iyer, chief executive officer, Lifestyle.

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