Independence Day Weekend Splurge May Herald A Booming Festive Season
Sales rose up to 20% during the long weekend, say retailers.
Shoppers splurged on everything from apparel and appliances to 'Tiranga' during the long Independence Day weekend, offering retailers hope of a demand surge in the upcoming festival season.
Hunger for good deals combined with the desire for quality products drove spending. On their part, brands are rolling out promotions across physical stores and e-commerce platforms. Online marketplaces such as Amazon, Flipkart, Myntra, Reliance Retail-owned Ajio also rolled out special offers.
The demand surge marks optimism as retailers treat the Independence-Day sales as a precursor to aggressive campaigns that run through the festive season. What's even more heartening for them is that sales rose despite the headwinds of inflation and a slowing economy, according to retailers and consumer goods makers BQ Prime spoke with.
"Orders were up 15-20% from last year," Mayank Shah, senior category head at Parle Products Pvt., said.
The manufacturer of confectionery, snacks and cakes expects the momentum to continue through the festive season driven by channels such as e-commerce, quick commerce and modern trade.
"We hope to see good sales from online channels as they are becoming a regular part of urban lives," Shah said. "Modern trade is also reviving post Covid." Footfalls at modern outlets, according to the company, was up at least 25% during the long weekend.
The optimism also stems from the fact that this would be the first normal festival season after two years of muted festivities amid Covid-19.
The next fiscal is going to be “a race to normalcy” for the industry, according to Kumar Mangalam Birla, chairman of Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail Ltd., as the consumers get back to shopping with renewed confidence.
To cash in on this renewed demand, companies are coming up with innovative festival offerings over and above discounts. Parle, for instance, tied up with a new-age brand, Bombay Sweet Shop, to co-create sweets.
Demand For Tricolour Doubles
"There has been a 15% surge in sales of readymade garments, cosmetics and even daily-use items during the Independence Day weekend," Praveen Khandelwal, secretary general at Confederation of All India Traders said.
Sales of the national flag, Khandelwal said, doubled to Rs 500 crore this year, aiding small businesses. "More than 30 crore national flags were sold in a record time of 20 days." The 'Har Ghar Tiranga' movement, he said, fueled unprecedented demand for the Tricolour.
This year saw more events including rallies, marches, public meetings and conferences in all the states. "Noticeable rush was also seen across sweet shops as result of more events," said Khandelwal.
Pantaloons Fashion & Retail Ltd. and Shoppers Stop Ltd. are offering up to 50% discount across online and offline formats. V-Mart Retail Ltd., which caters predominantly to smaller cities, is running offers like 'buy-one-get-one free'.
"We had one of our best-ever weekends... all our malls were packed with shoppers," Pushpa Bector, executive director, DLF Retail Ltd., told BQ Prime. "Almost all brands housed in our malls recorded high sales, and we witnessed high consumption from families who spent across age-groups."
Retailers of consumer appliances and electronics, too, rolled out 'Independence Day' discounts, cashback and deals like 'buy more to save more'.
"We witnessed a significant rise in sales across stores and e-commerce channel during this year's Independence Day sale," a spokesperson for Tata-owned electronics retailer Infiniti Retail Ltd., the operator of Croma chain, told BQ Prime. LED TVs, home appliances, mobiles and laptops were the best-performing categories.
"With everything moving back to normal, our stores have seen higher footfalls," the spokesperson said. "It’s an encouraging start for much larger festive season lined up over next few months."
Avneet Singh Marwah, chief executive officer of Super Plastronics Pvt., the exclusive brand licensee of Thomson TV, Kodak, and Blaupunkt in India, concurred. "We have clocked record-breaking sales during the long I-Day weekend with consumers' shopping trends coming back to normal for the first time in two years."
Uptick in categories like large-screen TVs and fully automated washing machines drove sales, he said. "There's a pent-up demand and it seemed like customers were waiting for special deals." The company is offering 10% instant discount on CitiBank and Bank of Baroda cards, exchange offer of upto Rs 9000, cashbacks worth Rs 1500 on Flipkart, among other offers.