KOLKATA | MUMBAI: Consumers can look forward to good deals for their Diwali shopping with smartphones, consumer electronic and apparel brands rolling out steep discounts in brick-and-mortar retail chains as well after offering similar deals in online marketplaces to beat the overall slump that’s affecting their business this year.
Brands such as OnePlus, Xiaomi, Realme, TCL and Kodak are matching prices of their products in retail stores as they did in the online sales last week, while LG has further dropped television prices, four senior industry executives said. Discount on smartphones and televisions is up to 30% than the usual selling period, while Future Group and
Lifestyle said they were able to match apparel prices this year despite online discounting.
“This year, discount on television and smartphone are at their peak with brands taking the price route to woo customers across categories,” said Pulkit Baid, director at Great Eastern Retail.
Mumbai’s leading chain Kohinoor Electronics director Vishal Mewani said average discount on electronics and smartphones is more than 6-10% this year in offline stores as no brand wants to take any chances this Diwali.
Chinese smartphone maker Realme India CEO Madhav Sheth said the brand is giving offers — both online and offline — which may vary from time to time, but are maintaining equal benefits for the customers.
Consumer goods makers and retailers have been cautious about this year’s festive season business due to a slowing economy, lack of new jobs and poor consumer sentiment in urban and rural India over the past three quarters. Smartphone and television sales growth has come down this year, while apparel business has posted lower growth for over three quarters.
Television maker Vu Technologies CEO Devita Saraf said there was an option for retailers to buy some of the online specific large screen models and then decide the end-consumer pricing accordingly. Apparel retailers said they are running higher discount on private brands and old merchandise at par with online.
"Brands have realised that there is no point having disruptive pricing for just one channel since it affects their overall sales, especially at standalone stores,” said Vasanth Kumar, managing director at Lifestyle International, the country's biggest department store chain. “While this kind of price parity helped generate demand across channels, discounting is restricted to old merchandise in our stores," he said.
Leading electronics chain Vijay Sales director Nilesh Gupta said brands have realised that they have to keep both online and offline together and hence are offering similar discounts. “This is helping to drive sales,” he said.
Future group founder Kishore Biyani said online sale is largely restricted to mobile phones which as a category is heavily skewed towards ecommerce. “However, bulk of apparel sales is still at physical stores and we grew by strong high teens in the category. Also, it was driven entirely on new merchandise," Biyani said, who runs chains such as Big Bazaar, Central and Brand Factory.
The executives said brands typically do not offer discount during Diwali since it is a full price selling period, but this year there is a fear that offline business may not pick up after heavy online discounting last week.