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    Lockdown easing in May ineffective, business degrowth continued: RAI

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    Lockdown easing in May ineffective, business degrowth continued: RAI
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    New Delhi: The lockdown relaxations in May 2020 were ineffective as retailers across the board continued to witness degrowth in their business, according to a survey by RAI.

    The Retailers Association of India (RAI) said in a recent survey of more than 150 retailers, big and small, for assessment of three months (March, April and May 2020) shows a severe degrowth in businesses across sectors and regions.

    During the stringent lockdown in April-May, retailers lost around 80-90 per cent of their last year sales, RAI said in a statement.

    "The relaxations provided by government in May 2020 were ineffective as retailers across the board continued to lose," the retailers body said.

    Large size retailers of over Rs 300 crore sales in the food and grocery segment have witnessed 86 per cent degrowth in business, while the non-food and grocery segment has seen a 75 per cent degrowth compared to last year, it said.

    On the other hand, small and medium sized retailers of less than Rs 300 crore sales in food and grocery segment fared slightly better but still lost 33 per cent of their sales in May compared to last year.

    "The survey also revealed that lockdown relaxations have been ineffective in stimulating retail across geographies as all regions have impacted almost the same with degrowth of 76 per cent to 81 per cent in May 2020 year-on-year," it said.

    Commenting on the findings, RAI CEO Kumar Rajagopalan said, "Despite the lockdown relaxations, retailers are still facing a challenging time to revive their business. The impact on retail across the country is concerning and it will take a considerable amount of time for retailers to return to the green." Seeking support from the government, he said, "We trust the government and other stakeholders will take note of this situation and help in boosting customer sentiment by enabling smooth functioning of retails stores across the nation by addressing state and local level issues." Beauty and wellness, footwear, apparel and clothing were most impacted. The beauty and wellness segment witnessed a decline of 75 per cent, followed by footwear at 67 per cent drop and apparel and clothing at 66 per cent decline.

    The trend was largely similar across turnovers as the industry lost 40 per cent sales in March 2020 followed by 70-90 per cent losses in April and May 2020 compared to the corresponding year last year, RAI said.

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