Aided by a drop in food prices, India's Consumer Price Index (CPI)-based inflation fell to 8.1 percent in February, the second-lowest since the index was launched in 2012, showed data released on Wednesday. Only for January 2012 did CPI-based inflation stand at a lower level (7.65 percent).
In February 2013, inflation stood at 10.29 percent; in January this year, it was 8.79 percent.
This year, the season of retail discounts had begun early in India. But now, it seems the strategy has backfired. Used to discounts, shoppers of apparel and fashion wear aren't willing to spend when prices aren't slashed anymore.
While footfalls have fallen after the long period of discounts, retail chains are being forced to continue selling discounted merchandise, as new stock is yet to arrive.
We have heard that for those who love, age sex and caste is no bar. However, a recent study says that money is also no bar. Despite the global economic slowdown, companies are ready to cash in on Valentine Day's an estimated INR18,000 crore (INR180 billion, USD2.89b) with record sales of popular gift articles like flowers, jewellery, chocolates, toys, readymade garments, mobile phones, electronic gadgets, wrist watches etc, according to an ASSOCHAM report.
The Indian state of Rajasthan has barred foreign direct investment in supermarkets, an ominous sign for global retailers who covet India's vast but fragmented retail sector if the country's main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) comes to power nationally in upcoming elections.
The BJP is considered to be more investor-friendly than India's ruling Congress party but opposes foreign direct investment in supermarkets because of its impact on small shopkeepers. It unseated Congress in Rajasthan's state elections in December.
With a view to provide job opportunities to persons with disabilities, Kishore Biyani-promoted Future Group plans to have nearly 5 percent of its workforce from this segment in the next three years.
Research agency India Ratings has retained its negative outlook for India's retail sector the next fiscal as well with a stable bias, and ruled out revising it to positive near-term.
Moderate single-digit revenue growth and operational efficiencies translating into stable margins comparable to levels seen thus far in FY14 will result in marginal improvement in credit profile from FY13 levels for most retailers, which is not strong enough to revise the negative outlook, the rating agency said in its report while retaining its negative outlook.
Global retail giant Wal-Mart has registered a new company in India as it prepares to enter the country’s lucrative multi-brand retail market with a new partner. The retailer has registered a new company called ‘Wal-Mart India Private Ltd’ in the country, according to the data available with the Ministry of Corporate Affairs.
According to a recent study by industry body Assocham, the fake luxury market in India is growing at a 40-45 percent rate annually and is likely to more than double to INR5,600 crore (INR56 billion, USD910.1 million) from the current level of about INR2,500 crore. The body has further said that several web shopping portals account for over 25 percent of the fake luxury goods market in India.
Retail inflation eased to a three-month low at 9.87 per cent in December, thanks to moderation in vegetable prices. This has raised hopes that the Reserve Bank of India may leave key rates untouched at its policy review meeting this month-end. In recent months, the RBI has indicated that it may look at the consumer price index-based inflation as a gauge for inflation management.
The surprise move by UK-based Tesco to open multi-brand retail stores in India with an initial investment of USD110 million is expected to change the contours of the sector next year. Experts say the brand's entry into the country, more than a year after the government relaxed the multi-brand retail policy, may prompt those sitting on the fence to invest, too.