Consumer demand could rebound strongly in the second quarter of this fiscal year: Chairman of Trent

NEW DELHI : Customer demand is expected to rebound strongly, possibly from the second quarter, said Trent Chairman Noel N Tata, while remaining “cautiously optimistic” on the medium-term outlook.

With growth drivers such as favorable demographics, increasing per capita and disposable income and growing consumption, India is expected to return to a strong growth trajectory, despite uncertainty over the short-term outlook, he said. -he adds.

Trent will continue to focus on building differentiated brands and accelerating its reach across stores and digital platforms, Tata said in the latest annual report of Trent Ltd – the retail arm of the Tata Group.

“While we cannot predict how quickly we will see this crisis return, there is reason to believe that we will see a transition out of this pandemic phase. And when it calms down, customer demand is expected to occur. rebound strongly, perhaps from the second quarter, “he said.

Tata further said it was “confident” that the company had “the expertise and most importantly the resilience to overcome” this crisis.

After the second wave of the pandemic after March 2021, Trent, which operates stores such as Westside, Zudio, Utsa and Landmark, has been either temporarily closed or operational, but with some restrictions.

In addition, the openings of 34 stores (Westside and Zudio) under development were impacted in March and April 2021.

“Our expectation is a phased recovery in economic activity and a gradual return to normal in the coming months, as we experienced in 2020,” Tata added.

The company expects some of its potential store locations to face temporary construction / opening challenges in a timely manner.

While speaking about the retail industry, Trent said FY21 was a tough year for Indian retailing with prolonged and intermittent lockdowns.

“Nonetheless, the sector appears poised for strong growth in the medium to long term,” he said.

The main drivers of growth include increasing urbanization, female participation in the labor market, increasing disposable income, discretionary spending as well as growing aspirations, fashion awareness and brand awareness.

Trent further said that e-commerce and the growing influence of social media due to the widespread availability of smartphones and high-speed internet will also help the retail industry to grow.

“We believe India continues to be one of the most attractive retail markets in the world with its strong demographics and growing consumption. These factors will continue to play a role in the medium and long term. branded retail in India over the next several years, ”Trent said in his outlook.

According to her, the restrictions linked to the pandemic have caused a paradigm shift in consumer behavior as they have accelerated the adoption of digital shopping methods.

“India’s e-commerce market penetration is expected to increase as the total gross value of goods is expected to increase from $ 60 billion in 2020 to $ 99 billion by 2024,” Trent said citing industry reports. .

It follows this growing space with an “accelerated pursuit” of a sustainable online business model and a digital connection with the target audience.

“We are convinced that after this unprecedented pause, our growth and profitability will continue to accelerate thanks to a sustained concentration on differentiated brands and a customer experience in our concepts and a strong expansion of the store network in the years to come, ”he said.

It will continue to grow by leveraging our association with Tata Cliq and its two websites.

“We will continue to pursue our store expansion program. We remain committed to addressing related challenges and pursuing accelerated expansion. We also continue to monitor existing stores and refresh the portfolio through multiple initiatives including the absorption / renovation of brand dilution stores, ”he said.

Trent reported consolidated sales of 2,592.96 crore for FY21, or 25% less than 3,485.98 crores of FY20.

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