AIMRA (the All India Mobile Retailers Association) remains unhappy with Samsung India’s alleged preferential treatment to online retail partners. Following the release of the Galaxy F62 in India through e-commerce partner Flipkart, the association has once again raised concerns over Samsung’s business methods as well as the future of the offline retail space as a whole.
In a letter addressed to Samsung India’s Managing Director Ken Kang, AIMRA is pleading for the survival of Indian offline retailers and highlights numerous points of contention including: non-availability of stocks, unreasonable targets, the price difference between online and mainline market, other online offers like instant cashback, bundle offers etc.
In order for offline retailers to survive, Samsung must treat both offline and online retailers equally, believes AIMRA, asking for same time, same model, same supplies for both retail channels.
This is an ongoing uphill battle for AIMRA, but Samsung might never change
AIMRA complaining about Samsung’s alleged preferential treatment to online retailers is nothing new. The association has asked Samsung as well as Vivo, Oppo, Realme, and Xiaomi to level the playing field for offline and online retailers in India all the way back in 2019. And although the Galaxy M series was made available to offline retailers the next year, AIMRA has complained about online retailers getting the better end of the deal.
Things have only gotten worse for offline retailers in 2020 when the pandemic struck, as sales shifted even more towards online channels. AIMRA fears that its previous attempts to reach Samsung throughout 2020 have fallen on deaf ears.
Ultimately, Samsung might never want to treat online and offline retail channels equally again. The past couple of years have been very successful for Samsung India, and last year the company managed to climb up the ranks and dethrone Xiaomi in Q3 using similar online retail tactics.