Consumers are expected to storm the malls and mega stores this season. Industry and trade body ASSOCHAM (Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India) says that the market is witnessing a 40 percent growth in consumer demand, compared to last year, thanks to the lower interest rate and a positive job prospects outlook. In the smokey air ahead of Diwali, there is a perception that the economy has improved. What adds to the optimism are signs of rural demand picking up, on account of a good monsoon. Two wheelers, jewellery and consumer durables are being lapped by by people in rural and semi-rural areas.
It is another story, though, with regard to real estate and housing.
The uptick in demand is clearly seen in the sale of automobiles, including passenger cars and two-wheelers, mobile handsets, consumer durables and fashion-wears. So far, the maximum push was witnessed in the eastern and western region while the north is expected to pick up in the run-up to Diwali.
Kolkata and other major cities in the east witnessed a splurge in Durga Puja shopping, while the western cities of Maharashtra and Gujarat saw a good rush of shoppers during the Navratris. Delhi and other north Indian cities would pick up pace in the next few days in jewellery buying, apart from consumer durables. According to the ASSOCHAM survey, about 20 per cent increase in spend on groceries, a 52 per cent increase in budget apparels and around 32 percent spend on lifestyle and fashion accessories in the next three months would mark the festive season.
"Green shoots in the economy are giving a lot of confidence to consumer demand, which will hopefully lead to an appetite for fresh investment after a brief lag," said D S Rawat, secretary general of ASSOCHAM. The survey covered consumers in the age groups of 24-34 and 35-45 in Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Chandigarh, Lucknow and Indore.
The survey reveals that women are likely to spend more on apparel than men, while the latter tend to spend more on lifestyle accessories. The average amount spend on mobiles during the festive season is expected to range from Rs 15,000- 35,500, up from Rs 10,000 - 15,000 for the last six months. In case of mobile phones and other electronics, consumers will re-evaluate various brands and their offerings, especially in terms of the value proposition before making the purchase decision.
The average ticket size for home appliances and electronics during the festive season was expected to be Rs 15,000-25,000 six months ago. The middle and upper middle class spend around Rs 10,000 to Rs 25,000 in the festive season. They mostly buy electronic items like mobiles, laptops or LED TVs. Metro consumers are increasingly taking to online shopping as top e-commerce companies offer discounts, freebies and offers to boost sales. Online retailers such as Amazon, Paytm, Jabong, ShopClues, Snapdeal, Flipkart and Quikr are doling out hefty discounts apart from cash-back offers and loyalty points.