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    COVID-19 effect: Electronics retailers foresee muted Independence Day sales amid uncertainty

    retail | IST

    COVID-19 effect: Electronics retailers foresee muted Independence Day sales amid uncertainty

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    Consumer durables and electronics retailers have been undergoing a tough time for the last few months. Sudden lockdowns in different parts of India have made it very difficult for retailers to plan inventory and to stock up ahead of the sale season.

    Consumer durables and electronics retailers have been undergoing a tough time for the last few months. Sudden lockdowns in different parts of India have made it very difficult for retailers to plan inventory and to stock up ahead of the sale season.
    “We haven't been able to make any preparations for the sale season this year,” said an electronics retailer. “We usually have one week of offers around the Independence Day period and sales grow anywhere between 25-40 percent in the period.”
    Owing to the COVID-19 crisis this year retailers are plagued with issues like stock unavailability, shutting down of warehouses owing to the frequent lockdowns and a cap on the number of customers who can enter store at a time.
    “In such a situation, it may not be the wisest thing for a brand or a retailer to come out with any discount schemes,” said a consumer durables retailer who added that there was a high pent up demand for home appliances like washing machines, dishwashers and vacuum cleaners when stores initially opened after the initial strict lockdown.
    Work from home and learn from home have regimes have also resulted in high demand for laptops. And the growing tensions between India and China have made it difficult for Chinese imports to land smoothly.
    “China issues have resulted in lack of spare part availability for laptops and mobile phones. Brands are not able to give us a clear timeline on when a steady flow of products will be available,” said a manager of an electronics retail store in Mumbai.
    Stores like Croma and Vijay sales have been offering regular cashback offers and EMIs on products available. However, they are clear that this year there will be no aggressive sale during the Independence Day period. “We have been in conversation with brands for deals on select SKUs ,” said Nilesh Gupta, MD, Vijay Sales.
    Croma may decide to offer deals on categories like home appliances and televisions. However, the retailer is yet to take a decision on the nature and quantum of deals. Retailers are hopeful for things to stabilise by the festive period.
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