Retail generated positive growth in 2022 despite high inflation and pressure on consumer spending. Higher levels of investment from key players boosted chained grocery retailing and e-commerce as consumers become more accustomed to more modern and convenient forms of shopping.
The positive value growth that was recorded in Bangladesh’s retail industry during 2022 can be attributed largely to the rebound of demand as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic receded, although rising prices due to high inflation was also a major driver of value growth over the course of the year. In particular, dramatic increases in the cost of energy meant spiralling gas and electricity bills for retailers and the suppliers of their merchandise, which put upwards pressure on prices at a time of downwards pressure on household incomes due to the rising cost of living.
2022 represented a major improvement in the situation for Bangladesh’s informal retailers, many of which faced a very negative scenario at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic due to the strict approach taken to social distancing and home seclusion in response to the high risk of contagion. Most informal retailers in Bangladesh ply their trade in busy and densely popular districts of major cities and consumer foot traffic in these areas increased substantially over the course of 2022, enabling informal retailers to generate similar levels of sales that they were able to take for granted prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The forecast period is expected to see demand for a wide range of goods remain under pressure in Bangladesh as the rising cost of living continues to undermine consumer spending power. High inflation and the rising cost of doing business are also expected to continue presenting challenges to retailers operating in the formal sector at a time when even affluent middle-income and high-income households are facing a significant erosion of their spending power.
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Retail is the sale of new and used goods to consumers from a business for personal or household consumption from retail outlets, kiosks, market stalls, vending, direct selling and e-commerce. Retail is the aggregation of Retail Offline and Retail E-Commerce. Excludes specialist retailers of motor vehicles, motorcycles, vehicle parts. Also excludes fuel sales, foodservice sales, rental transactions, and wholesale sales (e.g. Cash and Carry). Sales value excluding or including VAT/Sales Tax. Retail also excludes the informal retail sector. Informal retailing is retail trade which is not declared to the tax authorities. Informal retailing encompasses (a) sales generated by unregistered and unlicensed retailers, i.e. retailers operating illegally, and (b) any proportion of sales generated by a registered and licensed retailer that is not declared to the tax authorities. Unregistered and unlicensed retailers operate predominantly (although not exclusively) as street hawkers or operate open market stalls, as these channels are harder for the authorities to monitor than permanent outlets. Activities in the illegal market, which is usually understood to refer to trade in illegal, counterfeit or stolen merchandise, are included within our definition of informal retailing. Activities in the “grey market”, which is usually understood to refer to trade in legal merchandise that is sold through unauthorized channels – for example cigarettes bought legally in another country, legally imported, but sold at lower prices than in authorized channels – will be included as informal retailing if no tax is paid on sale by the retailer. However if the retailer pays tax – for example on cigarettes bought legally in another country but sold at a lower price than standard – the sale is included within formal retail.See All of Our Definitions
This report originates from Passport, our Retailing research and analysis database.
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