E-tailers make it a dull Diwali for retail stores

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It is a sight that’s becoming increasingly common across electronic and mobile phone stores: the customer walks in, checks out the product, its price, and then flips open his smartphone and logs on to an e-tailer’s website to check the online price. And more often than not, finds the price offered by e-tailers to be much more attractive.

The result: poor sales at the brick-and-mortar shops as online stores such as Flipkart, Snapdeal and Amazon are snapping customers away. Not just for mobiles and electronic goods, but white goods, shoes, clothes, household goods, books — you name it. The online discount euphoria has hijacked the Diwali rush from retail showrooms this year, and not surprisingly, the mood in markets is distinctly downbeat.

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