While ecom majors are bullish about their sales numbers, ‘brick and mortar’ retailers too are looking to double-digit growth in this period. As Kumar Rajagopalan, Chief Executive, Retailers Association of India (RAI) points out, eastern India witnessed around 15 percent rise in retail sales around Dusshera and it believes that during Diwali the sector would see growth of around 10-15 percent against 10 percent last year. He said that while ecommerce firms are witnessing sales in specific categories, such as mobile phones, brick and mortar is showing good results across every category.
Meanwhile offline retailers are peeved with the steep discounts offered by their online counterparts. “Prior to last year, sales grew 15 percent around Diwali but since last year, predatory pricing by ecommerce companies has affected offline retail,” said Praveen Khandelwal, Secretary-General of the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT).
CAIT says it plans to launch an ecommerce portal, ‘E-Lala’, in association with HDFC Bank, to give competition to online marketplaces. It will only provide a technology platform for sellers. “There will be a direct interface between consumers and sellers, and for all sales made at the portal, the consumer will be directly paying to the seller, with all logistics and delivery mechanisms handled by the seller,” said Khandelwal.