NEW DELHI: With Navrati ended and Diwali about to start, the signs are pointing to a bumper festive season for retailers and manufacturers across India.

Sales of cars, television and refrigerators were up 15% during Navrati, the Economic Times reported, allaying fears of the impact of the introduction of the General Sales Tax or any lingering effects of demonetisation.

“The consumer buying power is back this Navratri,” said Satish Padmanabhan, sales head at Sony India, as he related how consumers in smaller towns have been buying high-end television sets that were previously the preserve of those living in big cities.

Appliance manufacturers highlighted demand for frost-free refrigerators, large capacity washing machines and inverter air-conditioning units, with sales to dealers by the four biggest brands increasing 25%.

In addition, four of the top six automakers also registered double-digit growth in September, including Tata Motors which saw its highest September sales in five years.

“With the ongoing festive season, the consumer sentiment continues to remain positive and (we) are optimistic of maintaining this positive trend with robust growth,” said Mayank Pareek, president, passenger vehicles business unit, Tata Motors.

Meanwhile online retailers are gearing up for the next stage of their annual clash. Flipkart reported gross sales of Rs 5,000 crore for its five-day Big Billion Days sale based around Navrati, while Amazon is said to have generated gross sales of Rs2,500-2,700 crore in its four-day Great Indian Festival sale.

Flipkart claimed to have captured 70% of the e-commerce market in India during those five days, although some analysts put the figure lower, at 58%; either way it was still well ahead of Amazon, according to Afaqs!.

An Amazon spokesman said the recent Great Indian Festival had been the retailer’s biggest shopping event to date “with a remarkable spike in customer acquisition from tier II and tier III cities across India, with 85% of new customers coming from these areas”.

A second Amazon Great Indian Festival Sale is targeting the Diwali festival, while Flipkart too is expected to announce another round of its festive sales in October.

Sourced from Economic Times, Mint, Afaqs!; additional content by WARC staff