Retail in Asia

In Markets

Festive season proves a mixed bag for Indian retailers

Kishore Biyani of the Future group projects a happy festival season for brick and mortar players. After a long time, Diwali sales have hit a record high, Biyani says. His own group is witnessing a 25-26 percent like-to-like growth in pre-Diwali sales – in spite of the headline-grabbing Diwali sales across the online universe.

This is quite a shift from last year, when slow sales had cast a pall of gloom over traditional retail. E-commerce had unleashed its first edition of the big festival discount in 2014. The buzz created by Flipkart for its Big Billion Day sale, matched by competitors such as Amazon and Snapdeal, had captured the imagination of buyers like never before. Brick and mortar retailers could do little to stop the onslaught from e-tailers in an already slow economy.

This time, when e-commerce players were preparing to make a success of the online sales, physical retailers too were strategizing to find new ways to woo buyers, well ahead of the festival season. Now, most fashion and lifestyle retailers say they have had "strong double- digit sales growth."