Brands across consumer goods such as electronics, smartphones and fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) are reporting robust stocking of inventory by the trade and retailers after almost two months in anticipation of robust sales during the up-coming Republic Day when discounts and consumer offers too are going to be better as compared to last year.
Industry executives said the stocking by the trade (also known as primary sales) has grown by 30-40% over last year when the Omicron wave had briefly impacted the economy, while even as compared to the pre-Covid 2020 levels it is up by 7-15%.
“There has been a positive sentiment in the trade for the last few days after being conservative in November and December,” said appliance maker Haier India president Satish NS. “All indications suggest the Republic Day sales will be good this year which sets the tempo for the industry. We expect 10-15% growth over 2020 levels,” he said.
Krishnarao Buddha, senior category head at packaged food company Parle Products, said stocking for Republic day has been really aggressive and is almost 80% higher than the usual sale period. “We also expect higher discounting by 25% and buy one get one free offers as the focus is entirely on sales and volumes since inflationary pressures have eased a bit,” he said.
Republic Day is the second largest sales event in the country after the festive season. The improvement in demand last month helped the trade to clear out unsold Diwali inventory and improve their working capital to stock up more, expecting consumers to buy more during Republic Day when offers and discounts tend to be better.
Avneet Singh Marwah, the chief executive of SPPL that sells Kodak, Thomson and Blaupunkt brands, said e-commerce platforms like Amazon and Flipkart have indicated healthy stocking of products expecting a surge in Republic Day business. “This year, discounts and offers will be as aggressive as pre-Covid period,” he said.
Even for smartphones, consumers can look forward to good promotional offers. “There was almost a 45% drop in sales in November sequentially, much more than what was expected. Brands have 10-11 weeks of inventory so there will be offers to clear our stock and also boost demand,” said Tarun Pathak, research director at market tracker Counterpoint Research.
A spokesperson for fashion focused e-commerce platform Myntra said the strong shopping intent among shoppers to refresh their wardrobe for the new year will continue till the Republic Day.
“Customers can expect products at sharp value offers on lakhs of products across categories. In addition to core fashion, key portfolios expected to drive the demand include fitness apparel, footwear, beauty, handbags and fashion for the ongoing wedding season,” the person said.