Is the retail sector recovering? Insights from Shopper Value’s Industry Benchmarking tool

August 8, 2021

Pakistan’s economy has gone from business as normal to a massive decline in sales and traffic during the lockdown. The questions in the minds of many now are: is the retail sector now recovering from the huge blow to business activity? If yes, is the recovery going to be sustainable?

To answer the potent questions, analysts at Confiz used the Industry Benchmarking tool in Shopper Value*, that leverages data from 1,400+ stores from more than 50 leading retailers in Pakistan. We made period-wise Sales and Traffic comparisons between this year and same time last year.

Is the retail sector recovering?

Here is what went down from March-October as compared to same-time last year. Even though sale Traffic and Sales saw negative growth numbers for most of the year (starting from March), April was the worst hit as the economy went into a complete lockdown.

However, it was interesting to see that the numbers, even though still negative, started consistently improving thereon all the way up to September where we finally saw a positive percentage change. The positive change in September was a definite signal towards recovery, which came about after the persistent improvement in the previous months.

It is interesting to notice that even though, the numbers in October fell again, the fall was not so significant. We conclude that the industry, if not growing, was almost on the same level of activity in September and October as last year which indicates that the recovery in retail has indeed started!

The second-wave of Covid-19 – how sustainable is the recovery?

The second-wave of Covid-19 is now on the rise. The optimistic news that we have as off now could potentially be overturned if the given trend is disturbed in the future months.

Next month, November, would be a tricky one to analyze. On the one hand, we will have the second wave of covid-19 pushing the numbers down and on the other hand the White/Blessed Friday sale would be pushing the numbers up. The battle between the two would be testament to the consumer sentiment in Pakistan towards living life as normal vs risk management amidst the new normal. This sentiment would determine how sustainable the recovery actually is.

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