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What’s on offer this festive season

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Retailers and brands across categories are expecting a bumper festive season riding on the various attractive offers from their and positive customer sentiment

By: Nehal Gautam, Anagha R Ratna, Abhisar Narula

New Delhi: Retailers across India are gearing up for an exciting festive season, as the celebration of Ganesh Chaturthi in 2023 marked the beginning of the season.

In India, the festive season starts with Ganesh Chaturthi around mid-September and lasts till December and contributes to about 40% of a retailer’s annual sales.

According to a report by Wright Research, there’s a positive outlook for the festive sales this year. With consumer sentiment on the rise, retailers are anticipating substantial growth, expecting at least a 10-12% increase in sales compared to the previous year.

According to Redseer, online retailers in India are expecting a jump of over 20% to cross Rs 90,000 crore.

In September, retail businesses across various regions indicated 9% growth in sales compared to September 2022 sales levels, as per a Retailers Association of India (RAI) survey.

Categories that reported the highest growth in sales were quick service restaurants (QSR) with 15% growth, food grocery and sports goods with 14% growth each, with jewellery close behind at 13% vis-à-vis last year. The ongoing cricket season is also contributing to increased sales of sports goods.

Giving an idea of how value e-commerce is faring online value retail platform Snapdeal said it witnessed 25-30% year-on-year growth during the season as compared to last year. CEO Himanshu Chakrawarti informed that there is a surge in demand for sarees and ethnic wear, wearables like earphones, headphones, and smartwatches, lighting and decorative items and dry fruits. In the home category, there an increase in demand for kitchenware and bed linen. “These categories are not just growing; they are flourishing at an impressive rate, surging by 1.5x to 2X growth above the pre-season levels,” Chakrawarti said.

What are retailers and brands up to this festive season?

As is customary, retailers and brands are going the extra mile to make the festive season memorable for shoppers with various exciting offers, discounts deals and new launches. Let’s have a look at what the brands are up to this festive season:

Fashion and Lifestyle

This segment sees the most uptick as people shop for new clothes with ethnic wear seeing a lot of traction. In response, brands launch exclusive collections, and special ranges and ramp up their marketing activities. Women’s lifestyle brand Latin Quarters, for instance, has launched an exclusive bling edit for festive shoppers, primarily consisting of partywear.  It has also rolled out an integrated marketing plan with increased budget allocation which consists of partnering up with a known regional celebrity for endorsements, BTL events, influencer marketing and digital advertisements shared Rahul Bhalla, co-founder of Latin Quarters, a women’s lifestyle brand.

“This festive season, our sales are expected to grow by 1.2 times and our traffic on the official website is expected to rise by 3 times,” added Bhalla.

Ethnic wear brand Libas is reporting increased footfall at its physical stores. The engagement on its online platform too is escalating. The brand has made strategic investments in marketing and product development to stay in sync with evolving customer preferences. “To capitalize on the ongoing fervour, we recently announced our highly anticipated Big Diwali Sale,” Sidhant Keshwani, founder of Libas shared.

Accessory brands are also eagerly gearing up to cater to the heightened demand of fashion-forward consumers. Paragon, a Kerala-based footwear brand, is promoting its collection through offline and online media. “The website is also listed with a variety of options from the range for every occasion. With our festive campaign running on Hotstar during the ICC World Cup we are currently witnessing over 30-40% incremental visits on our website,” said a company spokesperson.

Homegrown luggage brand Nasher Miles has strategically enhanced its offerings. It has stocked up on its best-selling products and has unveiled exclusive designs during the festival period.

“Moreover, our pricing strategy has geared for competitiveness as we have implemented sharp pricing across our entire range, making our premium products accessible to a wider audience without compromising on quality,” said founder Lokesh Daga.

Home Decor and Furnishing

Home improvement being one of the key projects during the festive season, home decor and furnishing brands are also upping their game by expanding their product portfolio.

Home and kitchen wear brand Anko India is specifically focusing on sprucing up its gift offerings. Furthermore, Anko has launched an exclusive festive sale on its website and across the D2C platforms including Amazon, Flipkart, and Myntra. “During this sale, customers can enjoy discounts of up to 60% on our products,” said Pulkit Bansal, country head, Anko India.

Deco Window, a home decor brand by Jayanita Exports Pvt. Ltd. has unveiled a new range of curtains and blinds in new prints and colours.

“Our website has already experienced a remarkable 100% surge in traffic, and as we approach Diwali, we are optimistic about further increasing this number to an impressive 150%,” said chief executive officer Vaibhav Jain.

Beauty

As consumers in India become increasingly mindful of self-care, Indian and global beauty and personal care brands across the country are gearing up for the festive season with myriad deals and marketing campaigns.

Swiss Beauty is gearing up for the new season by offering up to 50% discount for selected products, buy two get one deal and free giveaways on certain orders. “With our new festive campaign, we have created specialised content categories that include festive makeup looks, engaging viral makeup recreations, instructive material, and helpful tips and techniques, addressing customers needs over the holiday season,” said Saahil Nayar, chief executive officer of Swiss Beauty.

Ganesh Kamath, co- founder, Earthraga, a homegrown skincare brand shared that in addition to stocking up inventory, the brand is offering more deals and discounts and focusing on the people looking for organic or natural skincare products. “We are creating more festive-themed content and working towards optimizing the website,” he added.

Gifting

Gifting is central to the festive spirit and the activity contributes a substantial portion of a brand’s sales during the season. Brands make sure their offerings not only align with the festive aesthetics but also meet the diverse preferences and budgets of customers.

“Our primary focus will be on promoting gift hampers, home decor and our newly launched private label- gourmet chocolates, FNP sweets and dry fruits,” said Udyat Gutgutia, director-category, Ferns N Petals, an online gift shop.

For e-gifting platform IGP, festivals hold immense significance contributing to 30% of its annual business. Tarun Joshi, founder of IGP shared that the brand has implemented peak planning strategies by improving its demand forecasting capabilities. “Also, we have significantly increased the size of our operations infrastructure to meet the growing demand around the festive season,” Joshi said.

Chocolates feature among the top gifted items during the festive season. Premium Swiss chocolate company Läderach India is ready with its gift hampers featuring an array of exquisite chocolate products. “Amongst Läderach chocolate gifting boxes, we have seen an uptick in demand for assorted chocolate boxes of – Pralines & Truffles, Frischschoggi. Chocolates are experiencing a surge in popularity, with a projected 40% increase in demand,” said Riti Gupta spokesperson, Läderach India.

CDIT

CDIT (Consumer Durables and IT) products purchased during festivals too have gone up in the past decade. People wait for the festive season to buy electronics at discounted prices from multiple online and offline sales.

“Our focus is on launching new products, coupled with good deals and enhanced distribution, especially in the tier-2 and tier-3 cities,” said Parag Kulkarni, senior vice-president-international and president, A. O. Smith India that makes electric storage geysers, instant geyser water heaters and UF, UV, RO, water purifiers.

Electronics major Asus too is optimistic about the festive season and is expecting a 5-10% increase in sales compared to last year. It is also hoping to up its market share, said Arnold Su, vice president- PC and gaming business, Asus India.

Quick Service Restaurants

As eating out picks up during this period when friends and families get together, Quick Service Restaurants (QSR) chains also roll out multiple offers and schemes to entice consumers.

“Our preparations include expanding our product offerings, increasing inventory, enhancing customer service, and ensuring smooth logistics to meet the heightened demand during this period. We’ve also launched special promotions and discounts to attract more customers,” revealed Nidhi Singh, co-founder of Samosa Singh.

Rajat Agrawal, chief executive officer, Barista Coffee informed that the coffee chain has launched a completely new range of merchandise and gifting options at its online and offline stores to delight its guests.

Mohit Khattar, chief executive officer, Graviss Foods – Baskin Robbins India, shared that the brand is bringing out some exciting new international products as well as Indian favourites “to double the excitement.”

Revenue expectations

Many brands are anticipating a surge in revenue during this year’s festive season, surpassing the numbers from the previous year.

The company The Ayurveda Company is expecting a 3 times growth in traffic compared to previous periods according to co-founder Shreedha Singh.

Samosa Singh expects a 60% increase in revenue during this period.

“Starting from October, we hold a bullish outlook for the upcoming festive season for several reasons. We have bolstered and rejuvenated our brand mix within our portfolio, with most of the fit-outs now complete. As a result, we anticipate a significant 20-25% increase in sales across our malls during this festive season,” said Pushpa Bector, business head of DLF Retail during an exclusive with IndiaRetailing.

Amit Pratihari, vice-president, De Beers Forevermark said the brand is expecting a growth of around 25-30%, with South India being a significant driver. “The wedding season coinciding with the festivities this year, the consumer buying sentiment particularly for jewellery is highly positive and the demand is expected to continue into the new year as well. In short, we are really upbeat about a strong festive season this time too,” Pratihari said.

Barista Coffee.is looking at a double-digit growth of a minimum of 25% this festive season with specialized gifting opportunities available at stores.

“When compared to last year, the company anticipates a big boost in sales throughout the festive season. From September to November, we generated approximately 20-30% of our annual revenue,” said Nayar of Swiss Beauty.

Brand Studio Lifestyle, a textile company with portfolio brands including Highlander, Ketch, Tokyo Talkies, Vishudh and Locomotive, is looking forward to a period marked by a substantial increase in sales. “We are gearing up for significant planned growth of 25% year-on-year (YoY),” said chief executive officer Shyam Prasad.

Gifting brands FNP and IGP both expect a substantial 40-50% growth in revenue this festive season compared to last year.

Akshay Oswal, co-founder of Oceglow, a direct-to-consumer (D2C) beauty brand said that the brand is expecting a 40-45% hike in revenue this festive season as compared to the previous year. “During last year’s festive season, our sales ranged around Rs 60 lakh. We are expecting to reach around Rs1.5 crore this year,” Oswal said.

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