October 21, 2019



Vijyender Sharma
SHIMLA---------Diwali is considered to be the biggest festival in the country and for business community, Diwali is extremely important festival since ages as it signifies the prosperity in business. Every year from the first day of Navratri to the 14th of December, this is the first phase of the festive season for the traders, which gives them an opportunity to grab maximum sales in the year. About 30 percent of the total value of business in a year happens during this festive season but this year traders from all over the country including Delhi are very desperate and disappointed with the sales.  With barely one week left for Diwali, commercial markets in Delhi and across Country are in a great slump and  traders have lost all hopes of doing good business in this festive season.

According to the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), the apex organization of traders across the country, the main reason for such a disappointed scenario is all due to highly surging sales in e-commerce market which is offering huge discounts on various products and even indulging into predatory pricing and adopting all unfair business practices which has greatly attracted customers to online markets. Recently, in the festival sale put up by Amazon and Flipkart, both companies have sold goods around 19 thousand crores of rupees in just four days, which makes it clear that a large part of the business of brick & mortar shops have already been shifted to online portals.

CAIT National President Mr. B.C. Bhartia said that the retail trade in India generates an yearly business of about Rs.45 lakh crore out of which during festive season alone business of about Rs. 6 lakh crore happens during Diwali festive season. He further said that in the hope of having good business on the festival of Diwali, traders have huge stock of goods but there is a lot of disappointment in all the markets of Delhi and absence of glory and spirit of festive season can easily be seen in the markets which have a very less footfall in comparison to past years.Despite the festival, all the major retail and wholesale markets in Delhi and across Country are completely deserted. Delhi's own age-old trade distribution centre is in great danger.

CAIT Secretary General Mr. Praveen Khandelwal said that due to unscrupulous business practices of online companies, there is a decline of about 60 percent in the business of mobile sector only, 35 percent in FMCG and consumer durables, 35 percent in electronics goods, 30 percent in electrical appliances. 25 percent in apparel, 20 percent in footwear, 35 percent in gift items, furnishing goods 25 percent, 25 percent in decorative items, 15 percent in building hardware, 30 percent in kitchen equipment. 30 percent in computer and computer goods, 35 percent in grocery, 20 percent in watches, 30 percent in beauty and cosmetics, bags and There is a decline of 35 percent in luggage, 30 percent in fitness and sports goods, 40 percent in fashion clothing and about 30 percent in toys and if the market goes on like this for another week, then on this Diwali festival, only due to unethical business model of e-commerce companies, there will be a drop of about 50 to 60 percent in the total business of traders, which is quite alarming.

Both Mr. Bhartia & Mr. Khandelwal said that already about 30 percent of business of offline market has been greatly suffered due to online business compared to last year and traders across Country fear its deep increase in near future. They further said that first phase of the festival season takes place in Country from the first Navratri to the 14th of December and later there second phase of business from January 14 to April - May due to weddings and other social functions. In previous years, there was a considerable increase in the sales of traders, but this year the current offline sale is crying for its existence of business and shifting of business from offline to online is a big cause of worry to the business community. There are about 7 crore small business in the Country which provides employment to about 45 crore people.

Mr. Bhartia & Mr. Khandelwal said that due to great slump in the markets and absence of festive spirit, the trade leaders across Country have decided not to decorate the markets on this Diwali as a mark of protest against unethical business practices of e commerce companies who are bent upon in controlling and monopolising Country's vast retail trade by flouting FDI policy and adopting unfair business module.

Both Mr. Bhartia & Mr. Khandelwal said that there is a lack of liquidity of cash in the market because people do not have extra money to spend and on the other hand, the Diwali is falling in last days of the month along with other important festivals like Karva Chauth, Dhanteras, Bhaiya Dooj, Goverdhan Pooja, Vishwakarma Day etc. but most of the spendings by the consumers have already happened leaving their pockets empty.

If the government does not curb online sales and does not put infuse capital in the market, the business situation will be very bad for offline trade.

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