Mobile retailers’ body to seek govt intervention against e-commerce onslaught, Retail News, ET Retail

A leading mobile retailers’ body has claimed that “unethical and monopolistic business practices” of online sales platforms are ‘jeopardizing’ the future of 1.5 lakh brick and mortar smartphone retailers across the country and that it will seek govt intervention. In such a situation, the survival of small retailers is at stake, the All India Mobile Retailers Association (AIMRA), an apex body of smartphone retailers, said.

“The situation is extremely fragile due to the unethical, discriminatory, and monopolistic business practices by online sales platforms. Several shops are closed and now retailers are even taking an extreme step like suicide.

“We will approach the Government with a charter of demands to ensure the protection of over 150,000 mobile phone retailers across the country who are struggling to compete with the tech giants and unethical business practices through many online sales channels and portals,” AIMRA, West Bengal president, Mohan Bajoria told PTI.

The association will hold a two-day AGM from April 16 in the city to work out a counter-strategy and action plan for survival.

“The USD 38 billion Indian smartphone market is the largest and fastest-growing mobile phone market in the world. Some of the top global mobile phone brands have registered their highest shipments to India in 2021. Due to the fallout from the COVID impact, the online platform currently accounts for 50 per cent of smartphone sales in India, “Bajoria said.

The GST regime, he said, remains a matter of concern for small mobile retailers who find it complicated and not conducive to doing business.

“A new discriminatory environment has emerged in India where big players flout norms with impunity thus threatening the small retailers. The Government must step in to ensure transparency in business operations,” AIMRA state general secretary Mridul Biswas said.

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