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India’s May Retail Sales Fall 79% From Pre-Pandemic Levels

The pre-pandemic scene at MFG Metropolitan mall in Jaipur, India. Shutterstock

Retail sales in India slumped by 79 percent in May compared to the same month in pre-pandemic year of 2019, a new survey by the Retailers Association of India (RAI) said, according to an Economic Times report.

Categories, including beauty, wellness and personal care saw business decline by more than 85 percent for the month, compared with a pre-pandemic baseline.

In May, many states and cities including Maharashtra, Karnataka, Delhi and more were in the midst of weeks-long lockdowns in a bid to curb the latest deadly wave of India’s Covid-19 outbreak, meaning retailers were hard hit by closures, while those selling non-essential goods were also forced to halt e-commerce sales in some places.

The first half of June has seen these restrictions lifted in many districts around India and a return to malls and markets as a result, fuelling concerns about more infections.

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