Sales in local markets down by 40-70 pc in ongoing festival season as buyers prefer online sellers

JAMMU, Nov 3: The companies selling products online have hit the profits of Jammu markets during the ongoing festival season as different bodies of traders have claimed a reduction from 40-70 per cent in sales.
Reacting sharply to the adverse development Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI) Jammu-a body working as custodian of interests of business community has demanded a proper check on online sellers.
“In electronic products like televisions, refrigerators etc the sale has gone down by about 70 per cent in the ongoing festival season,” claimed Hira Lal Abrol-proprietor of a showroom dealing with electronic products at popular Raghunath Bazar of Jammu city.
He held online marketing companies responsible this business loss and ruled out the availability and sale of Chinese products at his business outlet.
When contacted Raghunath Bazar Traders Association president, Sanjay Gupta informed that there are some 180 shops in Raghunath Bazar market selling different products.
“Sales in our market have been lowered by about 70 per cent due to a sudden increase in online marketing companies,” he informed adding that such companies have even reached hilly areas and in the ongoing festival season they have hired extra-autos for delivering goods to the customers.
“Small shopkeepers, provisional stores and readymade garment sellers are among those badly hit by the increasing impact of online marketing companies on customers,” Sanjay Gupta further said.
He said that Chinese products are not sold in Raghunath Bazar market.
“The public avoids buying Chinese products due to increased awareness for the boycott of these goods,” he claimed.
Pooja Kapoor, leader of yet another traders’ body, Residency Road Market Association said that online marketing companies sell almost all the products from garments to electronic products and they offer excessive discounts which local shopkeepers are unable to give.
“Under this scenario how can the ‘vocal for local’ slogan given by our PM be possible,” she asked adding: “The online market is open for 24 hours while we have limited business hours.”
Pooja informed that there are about 50 business outlets at Residency Road Market starting from Wazarat Road to KC Residency and most of these outlets are big showrooms and all are badly hit by online sellers.
“About 60 per cent of our business has been affected,” she claimed.
Similar was the reaction by Rajesh Dewan, Hari Market Traders Association president who said that online marketing companies have negatively affected 50 per cent of sales in the market represented by him which has about 26 shops.
The prominent shopping place of Apsra Road Market in Gandhi Nagar area of Jammu has also been badly hit by the customers’ preference for products sold by online sellers in the ongoing festival season.
When contacted, president Apsra Road Market Association, Anil Kohli said there are 112 shops selling almost all type of commodities in the Apsra Road Market.
“About 40-50 per cent of our sales have been reduced due to the increase in online marketing,” he said adding that their market has negligible Chinese products for sale.
CCI president, Arun Gupta told this reporter over phone that in the ongoing festival season, footfall in prominent markets of the city has increased by 20 per cent though online purchases have badly hit the profits of shopkeepers and other businessmen of Jammu.
“Our people are not much aware about the duplicity of products in online marketing and they are simply excited over enormous price differences,” he informed adding: “If companies can offer 40 per cent discount to customers through online sellers, why they can’t offer 15-20 per cent discount to our shopkeepers? This clearly means that substandard products are being sold on such discounts and the government should take a cognizance of this wrongdoing.”
“While our shopkeepers are under continuous surveillance by the concerned authorities, why such surveillance is not applicable on online sellers,” he asked.
The CCI president claimed that even banned drugs are being supplied by online marketing companies while a chemist can’t keep such drugs in his shop.
“We organized many programmes against online marketing and asked the people to keep focus on locals market and don’t fall prey to duplicity but the concerned government authorities should also play their role and check online companies for proper conduct of business,” he maintained.
On sale of Chinese products in Jammu, the CCI leader said things like spare parts in many industries comes from China.
“Many products are assembled here but their spare parts are Chinese and the Government should take steps in enforcing ban on Chinese products and take steps to encourage local production,” he continued.

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