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Furniture, Home Furnishings will Witness a V-shaped Recovery in the Next 2-3 Quarters: Anarock Retail Report

Food and grocery, followed by apparel, Fast Moving Consumer Durable (FMCD) and electronics, furniture and home furnishings and Quick-service Restaurant (QSR) will see a V-shaped recovery within the next 2-3 quarters, reveals the latest report ‘Indian Retail – Certainty Despite Headwinds’ by Anarock & Retailers Association of India (RAI). Other segments like beauty, wellness and personal care and home essentials may take 4-6 quarters to recover fully, it added.

The average bill value for essentials has gone up 1.5 times after lifting of lockdown —from Rs 650 per basket in early March to more than Rs 900 per basket, it also added.

Organised retail and e-commerce are on an upswing. According to IBEF, the share of Indian organized retail will double to 18% in 2021 (from 9% in 2017). Likewise, e-commerce is expected to more than double to 7% from the previous 3% in the same period.

“Covid-19 will work as a catalyst for the growth of organised retail and e-commerce in India. Online spending is on a marked rise with online shoppers projected to increase from 15% in 2019 to 50% of the total online population by 2026,” Anuj Kejriwal, MD & CEO, Anarock Retail has said.

Kejriwal added, “In other new retail industry trends, omnichannel retailing is evolving rapidly with brands collaborating actively to enhance their reach. Many are using malls or in-mall stores as urban warehouses to ensure a faster delivery to customers and are tying-up with existing e-commerce/delivery portals to leverage their existing network and ensure reduced additional cost.”

Kumar Rajagopalan, CEO, RAI, says “Omnichannel was gaining importance before the pandemic.  The pandemic has enhanced the importance of retailers having an omnichannel strategy since concepts of digital browsing, click and collect, curbside delivery, video shopping, etc have gained importance.  The pandemic has propelled consumers to purchase based on convenience either as delivery to home or by shopping at offline nearby stores or by time scheduled shopping.”

In today’s pandemic-transformed retail landscape, essential commodities are a top priority for Indian shoppers. Recent surveys by RAI suggest that grocery and fashion are the top two preferred options immediately after relaxations in lockdown. As many as 33% of consumers were excited to shop post the lockdown while 75% of respondents in tier-II and tier-III cities plan to visit stores in malls in the next 3 months. Offline retailers have witnessed a conversion rate of 90% post-Covid-19 versus 20% – 40% pre-Covid-19.

The report further highlights that hygiene and sanitation measures being adopted by malls and store operators to combat the Covid-19 blues. Above all, mall owners are looking to minimise touchpoints by going digital and sanitising cars before letting them in the parking spots. With valet services, cars are sanitised before and after the car are returned to a customer. Sanitisation of customers’ belongings before mall entry also figures high on the list.

Store operators are sanitising apparel after every trial, and steam-ironing them before returning them to the rack after 24 hours. Apart from social distancing markers at billing counters, both bags and products are sanitised after purchase. Many are also using technology for consumers to order before entering the store, or for home delivery of products. Automation and contactless technology will redefine the shopping experience in the future, and retailers will need to adopt such technologies.

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