Brick-and-mortar stores take the discount route to compete with online giants

  • Several of India’s brick-and-mortar retailers are striking back at online giants Amazon and Flipkart with their own mini sales, which are being held over weekends or whenever the e-commerce sites offer 
  • Hardly a day has gone by when one or the other brand was not on sale since demonetization, retail experts said. The sector was hit by demonetization, with the currency shortage forcing consumers to reduce spending.
  • Competition is now not just within the brands but within the channels too.
  • The offers are helping malls with a jump in footfalls and gross turnover.
  • Discounting by brick-and-mortar retailers were earlier mostly restricted to two seasons — January-February and June-July. Now, they are becoming almost round the year, thanks to India’s ecommerce companies that over the years have unleashed unprecedented discounting to gain customers and prop up sales, prompting the offline stores to react in similar fashion.
  • Over the years, physical retailers have increased discounting even by sacrificing margins. This has to an extent blurred the deep price cuts offered by online retailers. Discounts in the ecommerce sector, though, are from their previous steep levels, as the players chase profitability.
  • About three years ago, the average yearly discount provided by brick-and-mortar was around 15 per cent. It has now gone up to 23 per cent and for some brands, it is even as high as 30 per cent.
  • Retailers are planning to cut short the July sale by about 10-15 days as the sales period has extended too far.


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