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Customers are continuing to hold back on optional spending in categories such as television, home appliances, fashion, lifestyle and apparel posting poor sales in the October-December quarter, with no recovery in sight in January as well, despite almost all brands and retailers running end-of-season and Republic Day sales. As per white goods industry sales tracker GfK, television sales declined by 8 per cent while refrigerator grew by about 2 per cent and washing machine by around 3 per cent during the quarter, even as leading companies said sales in January continued to remain muted at similar levels.

Fashion and lifestyle brands and retailers reported 10-12 per cent drop in sales in the same period with the ongoing discount failing to lift the mood. There is no third-party agency which tracks apparel sales. Lifestyle International executive director Vasanth Kumar says sales picked up for a brief period at December-end due to the beginning of discounts, but that again failed out in January.