Online shopping takes toll on traditional business in Jaipur

  • P Srinivasan, Hindustan Times, Jaipur
  • Updated: Oct 23, 2015 18:10 IST
Electronic stores in Jaipur remain vacant this festive season as people opt to shop online. (Prabhakar Sharma/HT photo)

The fast-growing e-commerce has taken the sheen off traditional business in Rajasthan’s capital with sales dipping by more than 40% this festive season compared to previous years, shopkeepers have said.

The weeks starting from Navratri and extending up to Christmas is considered the peak business season in the country, which was earlier marked by heavy footfall in the markets.

“There has been a dip of 40% sales in readymade garments, mobile phones and others due to emerging e-commerce business,” said Kishore Tak, the senior vice-president of the Rajasthan Dukandar Mahasangh, which represents a major chunk of the state’s shop-owners.

Tak said the total sale of these items is around Rs 25,000 crore per annum.

Several people HT spoke to said their online purchases include electronics items, accessories, readymade garments, footwear, fashion accessories, mobile phones, jewellery and home and kitchen appliances. They also said buying products from e-commerce is convenient and cheaper.

Tak added that the state government too has suffered losses to the tune of approximately Rs 2,000 crore due to e-commerce and sought guidelines to regulate in regard to online business so that traditional shopkeepers too can earn their livelihood.

Shop-owners said though malls and shops are witnessing crowd but “genuine buyers” are declining day by day.

“The showrooms have become a demonstration place, where people come and just see the models and then buy them online. Earlier 30%-40% of customers would buy products from shops, but now it has dipped to 10-20%,” said Raja Mathur, a leading mobile phone distributor.

Vikram Saini, an employee at a private company, admitted to looking at mobile handset models at a store and then buying one online.

“The product was cheaper online compared to the rate offered at the showroom,” he said.

Vishwas Purohit of a leading electronics shop said that “there has been a dip of 10% compared to last year in sales of LED TVs, while there is dip of 40% in small home appliances like juicer mixer grinder, iron box, electronic razor, hair dryer etc”.

Nidhi, a student of class 9 and Shreya, a college student, said online purchase gave them more discounts and also helped them avoid the traffic jams while going shopping.

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