• Offline retailers ask for enforcement of FDI norms in ecommerce

    India’s brick-and-mortar retailers are lobbying the government to make sure that ecommerce companies follow the new marketplace norms, seeking further clarifications. On Thursday, the Retailers Association of India, along with members such as Shoppers Stop, Aditya Birla Retail and Future Group, petitioned the government on taking appropriate action if the norms are being disregarded.

    ET’s Neha Tyagi talked to several leading retailers on why they are upset and even considering legal action after having lauded the recent policy guidelines on foreign investment in ecommerce.

    Here are the edited excerpts of what they said:

    KISHORE BIYANI, CEO, Future Retail “I don’t want to be diplomatic at all. I don’t think anyone is following these guidelines currently. I see many of them (ecommerce players) shutting down or changing their models, after the FDI law got enforced. It’s not a battle between online and offline. It is between clarification and regulation. It’s illegal if an ecommerce company sends a gift voucher/cash back email after the FDI law is announced. This is a contravention of the laws of this country, and this has not been a level-playing game.

    BS NAGESH, Non-executive vice-chairman, Shoppers Stop “Our only request was to ensure a level-playing field. We are not running away from competition.” PRANAB BARUA, Director – retail and apparel, Aditya Birla Group “We are all clear now what the rules are, but unless it is implemented and followed through it does not matter. One thing we need to understand is that these are only clarifications. So these are no guidelines. We are also looking to see what the government will be doing regarding the past because there has been clear violation of the law of the country.”

    ALOK GUPTA, MD, Mobile Store “Predatory pricing has eroded the value chain completely. The fact that people enter the store, look at the price and quickly leave because it is available at less at an online store is not fair.” 

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