After retail traders, it is the turn of distributors of fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) in Mysuru to feel the heat of competition generated by online shopping avenues of e-commerce giants.
e-commerce companies and hypermarket chains are luring not just customers with heavy discounts on a variety of FMCG and other items of daily use, but also retailers with huge cuts.
e-commerce giants like Amazon, Flipkart, Walmart, Udaan, and hypermarket chains like Reliance, Mega More and Big Bazaar are threatening the existence of traditional trading community including distributors, said Chethan, a distributor for edible oil in Mysuru and president of the Mysuru District Distributors’ Association (MDDA). “Ever since e-commerce companies and hypermarket chains began supplying goods even to retail shops in Mysuru at discounted prices, our sales have dwindled considerably,” he lamented. “How will we be able to sustain our business and meet our expenditure including the salaries we pay to our employees?”, said Sripathy, a distributor of deodorants, and joint treasurer of MDDA.
The MDDA, a representative body of more than 160 stockists and distributors in Mysuru, held a protest in front of Kote Anjaneya Swamy Temple in Mysuru on Friday before taking out a march to DC’s office to submit a memorandum. It demanded the constitution of a Trade Board at the national level to regulate discounts and pricing. “Like one nation one tax, there should be a uniform pricing policy across the country,” Mr. Chethan said.
The protest by MDDA has received support from the Wholesalers and Retailers, besides Mysuru City and District Retail Chemists’ Associations and Mysuru Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI).
Even items of daily use like sugar and edible oil are being delivered by the e commerce giants and hypermarket chains to the doorstep of the buyer at a hugely discounted price, Mr Chethan said.
“Our inquiries with the manufacturers revealed that they are providing goods and products to them at the same rate. Yet, the e-commerce giants and hypermarket chains are offering huge discounts to the customers to grab the market and establish their monopoly”, he said.
It is not just the livelihood of the distributors and their families, which is at a risk, even their employees and their family members face a bleak future, he said.
Shopkeepers across Mandya staged a protest here on Friday to urge the Union government to ban online trading. According to them, e-commerce firms have badly affected the livelihood of small and medium-level traders across the country.
The traders closed their shops, assembled at Pete Beedi, and reached the office of Deputy Commissioner at a rally.
The agitators alleged that e-commerce giants like Amazon, Flipkart, Myntra and Snapdeal were affecting the revenue of traders and also violating laws pertaining to business activities.