Mumbai: For the first time, all physical retailers in the country are sharing a common stage to force the government to implement the recent e-commerce guidelines.
Retailers, including Future Retail, Shoppers Stop, Arvind Lifestyle, Infiniti Retail and Aditya Birla Retail, are meeting in Mumbai on Thursday for the speedy implementation of the new circular.
E-commerce companies have raised concerns over implementing new norms and even demanded a change in the policy. As per sources, some large e-tailers are also seeking six months’ time for implementing the new rules. This has now forced brick and mortar retail companies to submit a petition to Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion and seek a level-playing field in the retail sector.
Last week, the government allowed 100% foreign direct investment in online retail of goods and services for the marketplace model of e-commerce companies. New rules have, however, disallowed marketplaces from offering discounts while capping total sales of group companies or one vendor at 25%.
When contacted, major retailers didn’t wish to be quoted.
“All big retailers are coming together and submitting a petition to the government, seeking a level-playing field for the overall development of the retail sector. We will give new suggestions to the government in positive manner for level-playing field in offline and online retail sectors,” said a retailer.
Retailers are welcoming the new FDI policy for the marketplace but none of the e-commerce players are following the new notifications in the letter and in spirit. Industry officials told dna that the situation has not changed a bit following the guidelines.
“It’s in complete violation of the government policy as it was supposed to have been implemented with immediate effect,” an office bearer of the Retail Association of India told dna.
On the other hand, the e-commerce companies are unhappy with new guidelines as many of them would be forced to change their business model, and they find it difficult to implement all norms.
Anand Lunia, venture capitalist and founder of India Quotient, told dna, ” The prime minister has launched Startup India Campaign but new e-commerce policy is like Hands-up India campaign for e-commerce start-ups.”
An industry official said the new policy is curbing innovation in e-commerce sector and that it is not practically possible to implement it.
The share of e-commerce in retail is expected to jump from 2% in 2014 to 11% in 2019, while the share of physical, organised or modern retail is expected to shrink from 17% to 13%, according to a report by property consultant Knight Frank India and Retailers Association of India.