Edelweiss Securities earnings preview has said that overall June quarter retail sales are expected to grow 53 per cent year-on-year (Y-o-Y) on last year’s lower base.

The apparel makers have been lagging after the pandemic curbs eased. Apparel retail will again see the lowest recovery, with inventory levels and discounting being the key monitorables, the report said.

During the March quarter, business activity and consumer sentiments recovered as COVID-19 receded and pandemic-related curbs were lifted.

Top retailers saw demand moving toward normalcy, broking firm Anand Rathi said in a 6 July report, with revenue growth in innerwear, apparel, footwear and department-store being 72 per cent, 0.4 per cent, 35 per cent and 12 per cent Y-o-Y, respectively.

However, the recovery hit a wall as the second wave closed down non-essential retail in April and May. “Most companies expect gradual recovery from Q2 FY22 with pent-up demand, the festival season and easing of restrictions,” the report said.

Meanwhile, apparel retailers are expected to see the highest impact across discretionary categories.

“From the first few weeks of the opening up (in the second wave), what we are finding is that current consumer confidence and the level of spending has been better than after the first wave. It could be that there is a bit of pent-up demand that is coming through,” Venugopal Nair, MD and CEO at Shoppers Stop Ltd., said recently to Mint, a leading business daily.

The retailer had witnessed ‘some impact’ because of the June quarter closures, but the chain was better prepared than last year, Nair had said.