Mobile Retailers Association Writes to MHA for Reopening of Local Mobile Shops

Mobile Retailers Association Writes to MHA for Reopening of Local Mobile Shops

The further extension of lockdown has left the mobile retail business helpless. Moreover, the newly issued notification by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in regards to allowing the sale of Mobile & IT Products on e-commerce platforms, is another huge concern for entire mobile retailers across India. The offline mobile retailers are clueless about the huge stock which they already have currently. When there has been an extension of lockdown till 3rd May, the entire community is looking towards MHA to allow them to resume their work with limited capacity.

There have been zero sales since this lockdown was imposed. They all are much worried about overhead expenses they have bear without any business and earnings. But the decision to allow only the e-commerce platform to sell mobile phones seems not to be in the interest of the traditional partners. India's largest mobile retailer associations, All India Mobile Retailers Association (AIMRA) has raised this concern with the government by sending a letter and has appealed to support the community.

Arvinder Khurana, National President, All India Mobile Retailers Association (AIMRA) said in the letter, "It is our humble request to allow local mobile shops to function cautiously, following the guidelines issued by the authorities and using all the preventive measures as directed. The mobile industry has already been a severe fallout due to unethical business models of online platforms. Even with the deferment of EMIs of 3 months, the market will take some time to pick up which will result in little to no cash flow in the market. You need to empathise with the current deteriorating condition of the offline mobile trade which, if not allowed to start sales soon, might go into severe recession and bankruptcy for some. We, the mobile retailers, are helping our employees in whichever way we can during this crisis. As directed, salaries will also be paid to employees, but there are other overhead expenses like shop rentals, maintenance, interests etc. that cannot be met unless the stock worth crores already lying in stores are allowed movement. An area of delivery could be decided upon, in order to ensure minimum commute."

"We recommend that the State Governments should consider our request favourably in line with the step undertaken by the Kerala State Government and thereby issue an immediate notification/Government order allowing all physical shops dealing on sale, repair and service activity of mobile phones, mobile devices (Laptops and Tablets) and their supporting accessories to be opened on a limited basis (3 days a week for 5 hours duration) with limited number of staff. An appropriate Standard Operating Procedure list can be created for such shops/business establishments to ensure that all relevant social distancing and preventive measures are to be ensured by such establishments with Government supervision. Government should also allow offline retailers to do home deliveries on all the days" said Arvinder Khurana.

As per the recent guidelines from MHA, the e-commerce platforms will be taking orders for all essential and non-essential items from April 20 and will be delivering the orders to doorsteps.

Telecom Today