With online shopping websites posing a threat to local businesses, retailers in the city have begun protesting against several discounted sales and attractive offers available on these websites.
Retailers in the city launched into a major outburst after Flipkart carried out an online mega sale called ‘The Big Billion Day’ on Monday, where items were sold for prices much less than their actual retail rates. Different market associations in the city held meetings to discuss the issue and ways to counter these sales by online websites on Tuesday.
President of Market Association in Sector 22, Chandigarh, Arvind Jain, said, “These websites are definitely becoming a threat to local retailers and the situation is the same across India. We cannot do our business when these websites are posing a serious threat. They can adopt different kinds of gimmicks to be ahead of the race but physical retailers cannot follow the same.”
Shop owners in the city argued that these websites had a greater reach and were accessible to people across the country and can therefore, afford to lower the prices of several products.
According to Chandigarhbased retailers, as they catered only to residents of a particular city, they were unable to tackle the competition from online retailers.
Retailers also felt that it was time the government intervened and devised a mechanism for ensuring checks and balances in the system.
Chairman of Business Promotion Council, Sector 17, Darpan Kapoor, said, “These websites are offering discounts that are not genuine. We cannot compete with them. There is no level-playing field and as a result, retailers are suffering. All we can do is to wait for the bubble to burst and the situation to become favourable for retailers.”
Meanwhile, customers stand to gain this season with online and offline retailers trying to outdo each other by offering discounts or points which can be redeemed later.