Agra: E-commerce companies are buying and selling goods on the internet and are expanding their footprints every day. This has impacted the business of local markets in a big way. Even during the festival season, most of the local markets here continue to look deserted, said the traders association Monday.
Business chambers and various market associations have been protesting against the expansion of online business platforms and e-commerce companies for several days, and have accused them of unfair practices.
Electronics and mobile dealers say they have been the worst affected. The business organisations have shot out memorandums and petitions to the Centre urging it to come to their rescue by restricting trade activities of e-commerce companies.
The construction workers, electricians and painters are without work. The interior decor shops have few customers, as a large number of real estate projects are in a limbo. The jewellery shops and automobiles dealers report a cold response from clients on the eve of festivals.
Every year from the first day of Navratri to the 14th of December, the first phase of the festive season, gives traders an opportunity to grab maximum sales. 30% of the total value of business in a year happens during this festive season but this year traders are desperate and disappointed with the sales. With barely one week left for Diwali, commercial markets are facing a demand slump. They have lost hopes of recovering from accumulated losses.
According to the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), the apex organisation of traders across the country, the main reason for such a dismal scenario is “due to highly surging sales in e-commerce market which is offering huge discounts on various products and even indulging in predatory pricing and adopting all kinds of unfair business practices which have greatly attracted customers to online markets.
Recently, in the festival sale put up by Amazon and Flipkart, both companies have sold goods worth around Rs 19,000 crore in just four days, which makes it clear that a large part of the business of brick and mortar shops had already been shifted to the online portals.
CAIT National President BC Bhartia says that the retail trade in India generates an annual business of about `45 lakh crore out of which during festive season alone business of about Rs 6 lakh crore is conducted.
CAIT Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal said, “due to unscrupulous business practices of online companies, there is a decline of about 60% in the business of mobile sector only, 35% in FMCG and consumer durables, 35% in electronics goods, 30% in electrical appliances, 25% in apparel, 20% in footwear, 35% in gift items, 25% in decorative items, 30% in computer goods, 35% in grocery, 30% in fitness and sports goods, 40% in fashion clothing and about 30% in toys. And if the market goes on like this for another week, then this Diwali, only due to unethical business model of e-commerce companies, there will be a drop of about 50-60% in the total business of traders, which is quite alarming.”