A recent study has revealed that the demand for essential commodities is likely to drive the revival of the retail sector in India. According to a report by Anarock Retail and the Retailers Association of India (RAI) titled 'Indian Retail - Certainty Despite Headwinds', 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 presently.

"Amidst the pandemic-induced slowdown, essential goods will fuel Indian retail industry's growth in the coming quarters as consumer expenditure continues to remain focused on essentials, particularly food and grocery," said a joint statement by Anarock and the RAI.

Anuj Kejriwal, MD & CEO of Anarock Retail, was quoted by IANS saying that 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 per cent in 2019 to 50 per cent of the total online population by 2026”, Kejriwal added. The CEO of Anarock Retail further added saying that other new retail industry trends, omni-channel retailing is evolving rapidly with brands collaborating actively to enhance their reach and many are using malls or in-mall stores as urban warehouses to ensure a faster delivery to customers.

The report further adds that organised retail and e-commerce are on an upswing. Giving details of the revival of several retail sectors, the report added that food and grocery, followed by apparel, fast moving consumer durables (FMCD) and electronics, furniture and home furnishings and quick service restaurants (QSR) will see a "v-shaped" recovery within the next two to three quarters. Meanwhile, several other segments including beauty, wellness and personal care and home essentials may take 4-6 quarters to recover fully, the report said.

Citing IBEF data, the report adds that the share of Indian organised retail will double to 18 percent in 2021, from 9 percent in 2017. Similarly, the e-commerce is expected to more than double to 7 per cent from the previous 3 per cent in the same period.

Kumar Rajagopalan, CEO, Retailers Association of India (RAI) was quoted in the report saying that Omni-channel was gaining importance before the pandemic and the pandemic has enhanced the importance of retailers having an omni-channel strategy.