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Smartphone maker Vivo assures offline retailers of price parity in 2020

NEW DELHI: Cellphone-maker Vivo has assured its retail partners across India that it will bring price parity between its online and offline sales channels in 2020.

In a recent letter addressed to its retailer community, Jerome Chen, CEO of Vivo India, said that in the coming year it will “simultaneously launch the same product/variant at the same time and at the same price across channels”. It also said that there will be consistency in prices and offers across both the channels.

“Your reassurance to AIMRA (All-India Mobile Retailers Association) is a welcome step towards fostering harmony and parity between both offline/online models. Brands must play a crucial role in bringing back sanity to e-commerce,” Sumit Agarwal, National Sectretary of retail body, Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) said in a recent tweet.

Handset-makers including Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo in October had issued trade advisories to their retail partners to assure that they will bring price parity between their online and offline channels.

The long-stated tussle between online and offline mobile channels escalated during the festive season this year when retailers said that their sales were down 30% compared to last year due to deep discounting by e-commerce players. They also said that online-exclusive models and exclusive period of sale is taking away business opportunities for offline stores.

CAIT had said that this kind of predatory pricing is in violation of the Competition Act and it would appeal the Competition Commission of India to intervene.

However, this issue cannot be solved by brands taking such initiatives alone, analysts say. “The e-commerce players must also stop offering these discounts out of their own pockets,” said Faisal Kawoosa, co-founder of research firm TechArc.

AIMRA and CAIT have been calling for a mobile store shutdown across Delhi-NCR on 8th January 2020 and assemble in Ramleela Maidan to campaign for the cause.

Source: Economic Times