Footfalls at stores in India were lower as compared to last year’s festival period. Despite the festive season, there were several empty shelves and early store closures. Revenues for retailers were lower year-on-year. Retailers are losing out to online sales and branded stores in popular malls.
India is witnessing a sharp slowdown due to waning consumption. Businesses had pinned their hopes on Diwali for a revival in sales. Demand in the economy is still pretty weak. India is set for another quarter of weak growth following the five per cent expansion seen in the April-June period -- its slowest pace in six years. GDP data for the quarter ended September will probably show the economy grew 5.5 per cent, mainly flattered by a low base last year. The overall market sentiment is marked by a slowdown. Most retailers did not even fill their inventory ahead of the festival season, as is done traditionally. Generally, traders fill their inventory two months in advance, with a hope that sales will rise as prices then remain subdued. By and large, the economy which is going through a prolonged phase of low demand and consumption across sectors will take some more time to revive and the retail sector might have to be patient for the return of consumers and sales in good numbers.