E-commerce makes life hell for retailers

E-commerce makes life hell for retailers

E-commerce makes life hell for retailers

Around October, Shobita N, a retail employee was looking to buy a new phone and was searching through various E-commerce websites that were offering heavy discounts.

While she zeroed in on a phone of her choice, she wanted to physically check the phone and proceeded to a number of mobile stores in Indiranagar.

She went to as many as four stores where the price of the phone were more than those offered by the websites.

“When I told them about the offers online, the four stores lowered their prices in addition to giving me different offers that were quite good. I ended up buying from one of the stores,” she said.

Though the festive season has set in, it is not such a merry time for brick and mortar establishments and Shobita’s case highlights the desperation of such stores to try and attract customers, especially at this time when they expect a boom in business.

A manager of a shoe store on CMH road in Indiranagar, Boots, said: “This season has been a total slump. Customers just come in and take pictures of the shoes and then tell us about various discounts offered online. Tell me how can we match discounts of as much as Rs 400 to Rs 300 on items that cost  Rs 600? Items of particular brands have been given heavy discounts and customers do not buy them from us. We were expecting a lot of customers,” he said.

On Brigade road, a few small shopkeepers who spoke to Deccan Herald said that it was becoming difficult to make even ends meet. “Since the past two months there has been no business at all. While in previous years we would make anywhere between Rs 10,000 to 12,000 everyday, now making even Rs 2,000 is very difficult,” they said.

Although business has been down, Sohail Yusuff, secretary, Brigade Shops’and Establishments Association, said that it was better than last year.

“The glory of previous years is definitely not there, however, compared to last year, it has come up by 40 per cent. I am predicting that by next year we will be on top and E-commerce sites will be down,” he said. Contrary to this ongoing trend, a number of old shops and establishment on MG Road such as Deepam, PN Rao, have been able to stem the tide due to customer loyalt’ according to George Abraham, president, Bangalore Trades Association. Syed Hanif of High Heel Shoes store in Commercial Street aired similar concerns when he said that business was down for a number of shops around the area.

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