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Tis The Season To Splurge

Festive shopping has beaten previous years' mixed bags to settle at a point that can be compared to pre-pandemic highs, where some categories win more than the others

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Festive buzz is back to full scale and the month ahead promises to take this up a notch. After two years of the good-but-not-really sentiment, this year finally marks the point where consumers’ tendency to splurge is at a level that bene-fits the ecosystem considerably.

Even though Covid-related concerns reached some level of normalcy, the year has not been an easy one with the impact of the war in Europe, inflation and policy changes that while in the right di-rection needed industry-wide adjustments. Despite all this, the Indian con-sumer has been resilient.

Two in every three Indian shoppers plan to spend on items such as ap-parel, vehicles, home décor, property, home appliances, mobile phones and laptops, according to the Ipsos IndiaBus Festival Outlook 2022. The report also said that almost one in two consumers polled plan to spend more this year compared to last year.

The more positive takeaway is that this pattern is consistent across cities, ages and socio-economic groups. With some amount of pent-up demand still showing itself, people are not shying away from upgrading and making the most of festive bar-gains.

Despite retail picking up and malls seeing their fair share of footfall, online spending seems to have entered another rank, where ecommerce platforms are fighting over who features among the top three. Meesho surpassed Amazon in festive sales to take the second spot in order volume, as per a RedSeer report. Flipkart continues to lead but this is the first time another brand came between the two giants.
 
While Amazon has reiterated its multi-level growth in festive sales, the point to note here is that Meesho’s numbers, given its pene-tration in Tier 2 cities, indicate that shopping behaviour has picked up in markets where retail may still be playing catch up. Ecommerce players overall sold goods for $5.7 billion in the first week of the festive season in India. Mobile phones led this with 41 per cent of the total sales and fashion contributed 20 per cent, clocking a higher number than last year’s festive period. But an-other sector that is expected to benefit in the season is auto. A Deloitte report stated that consumers’ buying intent for a ve-hicle grew 9 per cent in the last quarter. With the amount of un-certainty and price increases seen in the year, some may even feel that festive deals would be a rare opportunity.

Festive sparkle is back and spending power is impacting all sectors. At the very least, this spells good news for the industry, where expectations are of closing 2022 on a high note, a typical case of celebration begets celebration.


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Magazine 22 Oct 2022