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GST leads to sales spike in apparel retail

Shoppers Stop, Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail, Trent and other retailers saw sales rise 14 to 25 per cent as they liquidated stocks before GST kicked in. Retailers hurriedly liquidated stocks before GST by enticing customers with advanced end-of-season sales. Shoppers Stop revenues rose 14.6 per cent year-on-year, while like-to-like sales (sales of stores that have been in operation for at least five years) grew 19.8 per cent, nearly double the regular growth the company sees during this time every year.

Similarly, ABFRL reported a 25 per cent increase in revenue for the quarter ended June 2017, led by a 27 per cent rise in sales of the apparel retail chain Pantaloons, with a like-to-like sales growth of 14 per cent primarily led by the pre-GST sale momentum.

Tata group-owned Trent’s revenues from operations rose nearly 25 per cent for the quarter ended June, while like-to-like sales growth for the period for Westside was 14 per cent, up from the apparel retail chain’s consistent growth of eight to nine per cent.

With prices of garments priced over Rs 1,000, parts of these retailers’ businesses could also be hit as they either raise prices or reduce margins with a higher tax burden.

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