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Oct 11, 2012, 08.15 AM IST
The year so far has been quite sluggish for retailers, due to a slowdown in consumer spending amid the overall slowdown in the economy, expensive loans and high inflation among other reasons.
The year so far has been quite sluggish for retailers, due to a slowdown in consumer spending amid the overall slowdown in the economy, expensive loans and high inflation among other reasons. But things have now started to look up with the upcoming Dassera and Diwali, say retailers, and they are expecting festive season this year to be better than last year.
"Festive season in eastern market is already on. This time the season is looking far better than last year, surprisingly. We are looking forward to 18-20% growth in this season. Till now signs are very positive," said Kishore Biyani, founder and CEO, Future Group.
In the April-June quarter Pantaloon Retail India (Future Group's listed firm) saw a same-store sales grow just 0.4% in the value retail format, 4.7% in lifestyle retail and declined 0.9% in home retail formats.
Same-store sales or like-for-like sales measure sales at stores that have been open for at least one year.
Other retailers like Bijou Kurien, president and chief executive, lifestyle at Reliance Retail, also says retailers are looking forward to the festive season with lot of interest.
"Given the general slowdown that has been there in the retail sector in the past six months, and the delay in wedding season this year, there is great expectation for the second half of the year," Kurien said on the sidelines of India Retail Forum.
He says the more favourable economic climate now, coupled with the surge in the stock market, real estate rates slowly picking up among other things will augur well this festive season.
"I think for the industry, like-to-like growth should be in the region of 10-15% this festival season over last year's festival season," Kurien said.
He refused to give an outlook for Reliance Retail, saying the quarter had just ended and the company was in a silent period.
Apparel retailer Raymond too is "optimistic" that the second half of this year will be better than the first six months this financial year.
"We are seeing that August-September onwards footfalls are picking up. Even now the footfalls are ok," Rakesh Pandey, president - retail at Raymond said.
The company has been expanding in smaller (tier 3, 4 and 5) towns of India. It, for instance, has around 950 outlets now and has opened around 200-250 stores in small towns in last two years.
Pandey said that while the company will open stores in shopping destinations like malls in big cities, the focus will be on growth in small towns, as other rival brands have a limited or no presence there.
Tags: Nachiket Kelkar, Diwali, Dassera, Future Group, Kishore Biyani, Bijou Kurien, Reliance Retail, Rakesh Pandey, Raymond
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