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    Published On : Sat, Oct 17th, 2015

    Nagpur retail showrooms reduced to check points for online buyers! Sale goes down

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    Darkness Behind Dazzle
    In weekdays, most of the plush and branded shops wore deserted look, incurring huge losses without any sales.

    Nagpur: Picture this. A smartphone wielding young guy walks into a branded garment showroom at a plush mall in Nagpur. He checks in the prices, size, color, code of a cool cotton shirt and immediately checks out without making any purchase. Then he flashes out his smartphone, catch up the similar garment on e-tailing site and find the price discount of Rs 600. Whoa…he orders immediately and gets delivery within 2 days.

    This guy is not the isolated one. It is a tell tale sign of how e-tailing is gradually eating into ground sale and big branded showrooms’ business.

    Jewellery showrooms are witnessing no footfalls even in the festive times.

    All glow and no flow…
    Jewellery showrooms are witnessing no footfalls even in the festive times.

    The situation was evident when a national newspaper carried full page advertisements of all the three on-line traders Flipkart, Amazon and Snapdeal. This full page advertisement speaks about the kind of profits that they get to woo customers.20151015_194209

    One of the local franchisees of a branded retail showroom showed Nagpur Today the CCTV footage of how a young-man tried the garment, clicked the picture and moved out without purchase.

    In another incident two-young girls (probably engineering students, since they carried engineering books) went inside a fancy branded showroom selling mobile phones of a particular brand. They made the sales personnel show them all kinds of mobile. They got to see a free demo (demonstration) and got the feel of the mobile. Both the girls wasted nearly one and a half hour of the sales personnel. After that they just said “Theek Hain, Hum Baad Mey Atey Hain” (Meaning OK, We shall come back later) and left. According to the Showroom owner, the girls returned after two days with a new mobile that they had purchased on-line and asked the sale-personnel to cut the Sim-card (Since the new mobile required micro-Sim), and to buy other accessories. The showroom owner was generally seething with anger when he was relating this incident to Nagpur Today.20151015_193955

    Nagpur Today ventured out to seek the opinion of various traders especially electronics and cloth stores. Almost all the traders who are dealing in electronics, clothes, books and other goods had the same opinion that the on-line trade has affected their business to the tune of 35% to 45%.

    While speaking to Nagpur Today, owner of Vedom’s Store Vedprakash Jaiswal opined that this fancy of resorting to on-line purchasing will continue only till such time when the masses realize the kind of losses they will experience.

    He added that after-sales-services for most of the products purchased on-line are practically negligible. He went on to add that recently it was discovered that many mobile-phones and lap-tops which stolen was sold on-line by an on-line trader. Goods that are smuggled or from the grey-market too are sold to the customers through on-line route. He alleged that the on-line traders sell goods way below the actual rate only to achieve a mass target.

    The franchisee of many branded mobiles and electronics goods in Dharampeth Satish Dave of Grace Communication and Rajendra Jain of Mona Stores too told Nagpur Today that people who come to the showroom cannot be ascertained if they are going to purchase the goods from their showroom or not. So they give the necessary demonstrations and explain the features of each goods. If they buy the goods, it is considered well but if they chose to walk away after wasting our time, we can’t do anything about it.

    The owner of Mobile Den, Harmeet Bedi in Dharampeth too opined the same thing that on-line trade is causing a drop in the sales of various mobile goods. He said that the customers will realize when they have been duped only when they find that they did not get what they paid for.

    Darkness Behind Dazzle In weekdays, most of the plush and branded shops wore deserted look, incurring huge losses without any sales.

    Empty Market
    A big cloth showroom recently vacated space from Eternity Mall at Variety Square owing to the heavy liabilities and no business.

    Since most of the showrooms selling branded Mobile phones, laptops, computer peripherals and other accessories have the branded goods available in on-line traders too, they opined that it is very difficult to give a statement to the press. These showroom owners are franchisees of some brand or the other. They may lose their dealership or franchisee if they give a statement to the press about the ill-effects of on-line trade.

    However, on condition of anonymity, most of them opined that the goods purchased through on-line are not entertained by many service centres. Two very significant and popular brands only have proper service centres and provide good services. Many customers claimed that people get duped even when they purchase high-end mobile phones like apple or i-phone. Sources claimed that refurbished mobile phones are sold on-line to unassuming customers.

    Darkness Behind Dazzle In weekdays, most of the plush and branded shops wore deserted look, incurring huge losses without any sales.

    Darkness Behind Dazzle
    In weekdays, most of the plush and branded shops wore deserted look, incurring huge losses without any sales.

    Branded Clothes  

    Many showrooms selling branded clothes in the city face crisis as people now prefer to buy clothes, footwear and accessories through on-line mode. A franchisee of a branded cloth company situated in Eternity Mall claimed on condition of anonymity that people just come to do window shopping. The foot fall is so less that we are not even able to pay the rent. A similar statement was made by another local franchisee of a leading imported brand having showroom in Empress Mall who claimed that after people go through the cost of these branded cloth, they just check out the brand-number and other details and just leave. The amount of sales has significantly come down.20151015_194028

    What the traders feel

    Almost all the traders whom Nagpur Today encountered said the same thing. They opined that they are not opposing the digitalization of trade. They are certainly welcoming that too. However, they feel that there are some things, goods, accessories etc which could be sold through on-line mode while others not available on on-line mode should be available only in retail stores. Separation of products will make a big difference. This way, their business which they have established and sustained so far will not suffer.

    – By Samuel Gunasekhran
    – Pics by – Rahul

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