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Retailers face heat of online shopping portals

punjab Updated: May 30, 2014 20:46 IST
Arjun Sharma
Arjun Sharma
Hindustan Times
online shopping

Online shopping portals may have brought the fashion world at your doorsteps, but it has made a significant dent on the business of retailers and wholesalers.

Many Ludhiana-based companies dealing in hosiery and knitwear products have started tying up with these portals to sell their products online. Though the measure has come as good news for those who wish to buy these items, but the move was affected the business of retailers and wholesalers in Ludhiana. At least 21% apparel business has been taken over by these online shopping portals.

The system of online shopping portals has been evolving for the past 10 years. Some of these portals were also developing their own transport facilities so that the items selected on internet could be delivered to the customer within no time.

Sudershan Jain, president of the Knitwear and Apparel Manufacturers Association of Ludhiana (KAMAL), and owner of 'Oner' clothing company based in Ludhiana, said, "The traditional retailers have started facing the heat of these online shopping portals. Online selling system is doing brisk business presently and I hope that it will take away a major portion of retailers and wholesalers."

He said even his company Oner had tied up with one of these portals that directly take away the products and sell them to the online customers.

Summer clothing is manufactured in large parts of the country, including Maharashtra, Karnataka and some other areas, including Ludhiana, but a major share of winter clothing is manufactured in Ludhiana only. Interestingly, for winter clothing many shopping portals were contacting city-based hosiery industry.

Dr Sandeep Kapur, director of the School of Business Studies, Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, said, "A major portion of the young population has internet access and they want to explore it. Shopping portals are now even available on mobiles, which has given an upper hand to these websites, as customers don't have to go to the shops physically."

He said improvement in the terms of delivery has also provided an advantage to these portals and has increased the scope of these websites tremendously.

Meanwhile, Ashok Thapar, chairman of the Knitwear Club, said the business of retailers was not going good this season. "Economy of the country is moving at a slow pace that could also be the reason for slow business of the retailers. Even last year's stocks of the wholesalers and retailers have not been cleared," Thapar said.