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Putting Best Foot Forward For The Festive Gifting Season
According to market surveys, there is a 25 per cent increase in the average monthly spend of shoppers on staples and packaged foods during the three months of the festive season (OctoberDecember), compared to the average monthly spend in the previous six months until September. No surprise that retailers and manufacturers hope to do significantly more business in the festive season than in the regular months and expect better business in terms of sales traction, consumer connect, branding, etc.
Sanjay Kumar

The festive season is a period of spreading joy and happiness and gifting has become a characteristic and intrinsic feature of the festive season. Whether it’s Rakshabandhan, Diwali or New Year, we love to celebrate it, and given the Indian culture and traditions, gifting holds a very important place for each and every festive occasion. Gifts help to spread the joy of festivities with our near and dear ones. In this fast-paced life, we occasionally get time to meet and greet our friends, relatives or business associates and gifts are a beautiful way to keep up and nurture our relationships. Festive season, through the medium of gifting, helps in nourishing our connections and this is a theme that plays across all product categories.

Both retailers and manufacturers aver that gifts have come to occupy an important part in our lives and gifting builds human relationships. “In the festive season, gifts occupy an important part as they help to cement ties and build bonds. In the food category, people like to shop for value offering items that have unique flavors and product combinations,” says Laxmichand Gada of Mumbaibased Society Stores. As the festive season is a period of buoyancy in consumer sentiment, the purchasing power of consumers is at its peak because there is a lot of gifting to be done. No surprise then that retailers and manufacturers expect to see a minimum sales hike of 10-20 percent during this period.

According to market surveys, shoppers resort to a higher spend in almost all key categories – a 25 per cent increase in average monthly spend on staples and packaged foods during the three months of the festive season (October-December), compared to the average monthly spend in the previous six months till September. It is estimated that there is a 12 per cent increase in spend on groceries and a 50 per cent increase in spend on apparels in the October to December compared to the three months ending September.

Sometime ago, industry body Assocham came out with a report that said consumers are expected to splurge about Rs. 52,000 crore on shopping during the festive season, beginning with Navaratra and continuing well up to Christmas. Historically, shoppers tend to spend more during the festive season and their spending during the holiday season is often exuberant and unrestrained. A large percentage of consumers set aside a budget for their festival spending for buying gifts for themselves, children, family, friends and relatives.

As consumer today have high expectations and at the same time are looking forward to innovation in terms of new line of gifting options in place, retailers, brands and manufacturers hope to do significantly more business than in the regular months and are nursing high hopes from the ensuing festive season in terms of better sales traction, consumer connect, branding, etc. Considering that they already receive great response through advance orders, they are looking to bag significantly higher volumes during the festive season and roll their inventories. In fact, for many retailers, festive season gifting and shopping accounts for about 40 per cent of annual sales.

Delhi-NCR based 24 SEVEN convenience stores chain anticipates a surge in business during the festive season this year as has been customary in the past as well. Executives at the retail chain aver that, in general, business fares much better this time around as the consumer sentiment is more upbeat and shoppers spend not only on gifting others but on the self as well. That is why retail sales during the festive months have traditionally outperformed business activity in rest of the year, and this spike in consumer activity bodes well for businesses in general and the retail industry in particular.

Shoppers enjoy the mass festive sales as many of them hunt for good bargains and merrily part with their money in festive cheer. To meet this trend, 24 SEVEN portfolio will also be brimming with new items and will see the return of favorite hot sellers from last year to satisfy the overall gifting needs. The stores will also be decked up during this period to convey the joy, happiness and spirit of the season. The chain is also working on joint business plans with the brands – from creating unique assortment to special offerings and to bring about improvement in its fill rate – with the sole agenda of connecting more meaningfully and reaching out to its customers in bigger ways this festive season as compared to the previous years.

Gifting in the food category

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September 2019