AIMRA Gives Ultimatum to Phone Makers on Exclusive Online Sales


All India Mobile Retailers Association (AIMRA) has written to the leading mobile phone manufacturers including Xiaomi, Samsung, and OnePlus, asking them to control deep discounting on their products listed on ecommerce websites like Amazon and Flipkart.

According to a report by Economic Times, the association AIMRA wrote to the mobile phone manufacturers mentioning that unless the online discounting is controlled, the retailers will sell their products at the prices of ecommerce websites. The retailers’ association also informed the brands that they might also boycott selling their products unless the online price is controlled.

“We feel the time has come for brands to take our issues seriously, else retailers/associations will not fear to boycott the brands. We are not in favor of force but if the current scenario demands it, we shall not withdraw,” said the letter written by AIMRA president Arvinder Khurana.

Last month too, AIMRA had written a letter to mobile phone manufacturers warning them that they would sell at online prices if online discounting is not controlled and recover the balance from distributors and may even boycott the brands. The previous letter was sent to Oppo, Vivo and Realme, along with Xiaomi, Samsung and OnePlus.

The Chinese mobile phone manufacturer Oppo, Vivo and Realme had assured AIMRA that their products would be sold at the same price and time on both online and offline stores. Vivo Mobiles India CEO Jerome Chen, in a letter to its retail partners in India, even stated the company will ensure the simultaneous launch of the products at the same time across channels. “All Vivo-branded products will have consistent prices and offers across both online and offline platforms,” he said.

According to an IDC report, online accounts for more than 45% of total smartphone sales in India. It said smartphone sales in India during July to September period were driven by e-commerce with offline sales declining by 2.6% year-on-year.

AIMRA, along with traders body Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), has been protesting against e-commerce discounts since Diwali. The organizations have earlier pressed the government to plug these loopholes, stop online predatory pricing and set up a regulatory body to ensure fair play. Toward this end, commerce minister Piyush Goyal had even warned of strict action against e-commerce marketplaces if the e-commerce policy was violated.

Last week, AIMRA held a national convention in New Delhi where more than 20,000 retailers and distributors from across India participated to push the brands to meet its demand. Mobile phone retailers had also put down shutters for a day across the country as protest.

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