The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) has claimed ecommerce giants failed to cater to the nation’s most pressing needs by stopping their operations amid a global crisis. The traders’ body said that ecommerce majors such as Flipkart and Amazon have shirked their responsibility which has been filled by offline traders and retailers.
B.C.Bhartia, national president and Praveen Khandelwal, secretary-general of CAIT said that ecommerce portals have behaved in a condemnable manner and all stakeholders should actually assume responsibility and come forward to help the country. The body also alleged that ecommerce businesses have abandoned operations during the crisis as it is not a profitable endeavour for them.
CAIT further said, “Ecommerce players, who have such deep pockets and keep indulging in malpractices throughout the year to destroy the business of small retailers, have completely gone into hibernation mode when they should have actually come out to deliver essentials throughout the country.”
The traders’ body further claimed that out of 1.25 Cr traders of essential goods about 25% of total traders of essential commodities are able to operate on the ground due to various lockdown restrictions and movement hassles
CAIT claimed that the Indian retail industry is losing approximately $2 Bn (INR 15K Cr) every day for the last 20 days. Of about 7 Cr traders in India, 6.5 Cr have completely shut shops due to nationwide lockdown, the CAIT claimed.
Further, a report by Retailers Association of India (RAI) said that non-grocery and food retailers are reporting 80% to 100% reduction in sales. The survey noted that in the next six months, non – food retailers expect to earn 40% as compared to last year’s revenues while food retailers expect to earn 56% as compared to last year’s revenues.
The survey noted that 70% of retailers expect the business recovery to happen in more than 6 months, while 20% expect it to take more than a year.
At present, the countrywide lockdown has hampered the retail as well as online industry. As neighbourhood kirana stores try to fulfil unprecedented demand and operate amid restrictions, ecommerce companies have also been trying to forge partnerships to help fulfil essential deliveries.
BigBasket and Uber had partnered to solve disruptions faced by the grocery delivery startups in reaching out to the customers. Uber is now providing last-mile delivery service to address the growing needs of consumers to access everyday essentials amid the lockdown. At the same time, foodtech companies Swiggy and Zomato have expanded their operations for grocery delivery to meet the demand.