Dealers decide not to place fresh order, black-out posters and branding at outlets
India’s top four mobile brands are set to face the ire of off-line mobile dealers, whose sales have tumbled by about 65 per cent this festive season even as the mobile phones remained top selling items on e-commerce platforms.
Supported by the All India Mobile Retailers Association (AIMRA) and led by Gujarat chapter of the association, the mobile dealers on Monday convened a national-level meet in Ahmedabad and resolved to stop fresh purchases of the top four mobile brands that are giving discounts on e-commerce platforms and selling like hot-cakes there.
“About 200 people including representatives of State chapters of AIMRA joined with the Dealers’ associations met today and resolved to stop fresh purchase of top four brands namely Mi, Oppo, Vivo and Samsung. They offer exclusive models and deep discounts on online platforms. They use our shops to showcase their products, but offer discounts online. So ultimately the customers will move to online and we end up with inventory,” said Nilay Shah, Vice-President of Mobile Dealers Association of Ahmedabad (MDAA).
Speaking to Businessline, Shah said, “All the members have decided that we will cover all the posters and branding of these four brands with black cloths and will not place fresh orders with them.”
The dealers claimed that a large number of dealers across the country are associated with these mobile companies, and each store employs on average 3-4 people as their staff. Dwindling sales in the off-line stores is seen as a threat on the employment and entrepreneurship amid these slowdown fears.
“Offline retailers are badly hit due to these discounts. Looking at the sales numbers, we don’t feel like it is a festive season for us. General retail has declined by 65 per ent. Customers visit the stores but return without purchase because of the discounts,” stated Shah, who runs a mobile agency in Ahmedabad.
“Our aim is to raise voice against exclusive products, unethical discounts given by mobile companies on online platforms as well as e-commerce companies. There are more than one lakh retailers and around 40 lakh people who are earning their bread from this business. But because of such strategy, they are about to shut their business,” said Nikunj Patel, President, MDAA.
A representation in this connection was made to the Union Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal.