After complaining about online retailers predatory and exclusivity exercise to the government, the offline retailers’ group has now written letters to top mobile manufacturers and brands asking them to treat offline retailers as equal to its online counterparts.
In a letter to top smartphone brands Oppo, Vivo and Samsung, the All India Mobile Retailers Association (AIMRA), which represent thousands of offline mobile sellers in India, demanded equal discount and exclusivity for offline retailers as those given to online retailers.
The exclusive tie-ups have given e-commerce companies a dominant position and have snatched a business opportunity from retailers. Online exclusivity has created a significant disparity between online and offline channels which is eventually wiping out offline retailers from the market, said AIMRA in the letter seen by Entrackr.
Online exclusivity and offers have led to shutting down of over 30,000 mobile phone retail outlets in the past year, it added. The body further said the existing practices are forcing offline retailers towards adopting illegal practices.
The retailers’ body appealed to smartphone brands to ensure that online platforms do not list the exclusive tie-ups and offline retailers should be treated equally.
In another separate letter, to Chinese giant Xiaomi and Realme, AIMRA marked the issue of priority window given to online retailers.
The priority window offer has created a big disparity between online and offline channels which is eventually wiping out offline retailers from the market. The inclination of brands giving business to online platforms first has resulted in a business opportunity loss borne by a retailer, read the letter.
It is very unfair to provide all backup and support to them and leave offline retailers groping in the dark. Xiaomi should end exclusivity altogether by ensuring that models are released in the offline market, said AIMRA president Arvinder Khurana.
AIMRA also appealed to manufacturers and brands for a meet to resolve the issue.
Last week, AIMRA had written to the government urging to look into the matter and protect all small sellers, who are affected exclusivity. It is imperative to have one policy for all mobile brands in order for business in India to flourish and our economy to become stronger.
Online retailers exclusivity business model has not only been detrimental for retailers but has led to the slow death of offline retail sales. Exclusive tie-ups have led to various problems that are damaging towards the country’s economy and growth, said the mobile retailer body.