People are hanging out more at malls than buying, leaving retail chains little reasons to cheer. Shoppers Stop reported a standalone net loss of Rs. 14 crore for the first quarter (Q1) ended June 2016, though it is narrower than Rs. 22 crore the company posted in the corresponding quarter last year.

The growth in net sales was 10 percent to Rs. 755.88 crore in Q1 from Rs.684.57 crore in the year-ago period, according to the company's regulatory filings to the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) on Friday. The growth has to be factored in after considering about 10 new stores opened across formats during the quarter. 

The company had posted a net profit of Rs. 10.17 crore for the March 2016 quarter.

The like-to-like sales growth for the Mumbai-based retail chain belonging to the K Raheja Group rose by 5.5 percent. The chain has stores across different formats, including 81 Shoppers Stop outlets and and 19 HyperCity stores. It also has Mothercare and MAC (Cosmetics) stores, apart from 93 Crossword (book stores) shops. The company also has two duty-free shops, one each at Mumbai and Bengaluru airports, in joint venture with a foreign duty-free chain (Nuance Group). 

But business was lacklustre during the quarter.

The mood among customers was subdued, according to the company. "Customer sentiment has been soft during this quarter and we believe that starting Q1FY17, consumption should improve. We have seen good progress on two fronts: more than 25% growth in our online business and the share of private and exclusive brands has gone up by 60 basis points," Govind Shrikhande, Managing Director, Shoppers Stop, said in the regulatory filing.

Shares of Shoppers Stop closed at Rs. 375.25 apiece on the BSE, down 0.21 percent from their previous close.