Pressure on physical stores continues to rise with e-commerce sites offering products at extremely low costs. Diwali, which is considered to be an extremely profitable time for brick-and-mortar shops, are now experiencing an extremely dull response due to the increasing trend of preferred online shopping, the Times of India reports. Also Read - India's CERT issues warning about credit card scam on the internetAlso Read - Smartphone and Smart TV makers break records during Diwali sale: Report
Today s report is in line with earlier reports, which state brick-and mortar shops are seeing poor sales as online sites like Flipkart, Amazon and Snapdeal are giving away bigger discounts and lucrative offers on products. The comfort of buying from the comfort of one s home or office and the ability to choose from a thousand of products, while availing such discounts seems to be a win-win situation for consumers. Also Read - Xiaomi sold over 5 lakh Mi TV units during Diwali festival sale
This online discount euphoria has hijacked the Diwali rush from retail showrooms as they cannot match the prices offered by the e-commerce sites due to higher overhead costs. “Footfalls at dealerships this time are nowhere near the levels they usually are during the festival season, a retailer at Gurgaon told the publication. The days leading up to Diwali have traditionally been bumper days for us. But the excitement is missing this time around.
The price difference between online and offline retailers is quite vast. The 13-inch MacBook Air, for example, is priced at Rs 72,900 at traditional retailers, while e-commerce site like Amazon is offering it at Rs 57,798 and Flipkart for Rs 67,999. Similarly, a Bosch washing machine is available at Rs 29,990 on Flipkart, but is retailing for Rs 34,000 at a store in central Delhi’s Lodhi Road.
This price disparity has got traditional retailers quite miffed. They have even threatened to boycott many tech giants product if this issue is not addressed. Samsung has reportedly decided to take the offline route to soothe the sentiments of the traditional retailers, and give exclusive selling rights to them for 48 of its smartphone models, including the Galaxy Alpha and the soon-to-launched Galaxy Note 4.