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India Retailers – Online Retail: Love It or Hate It but Don’t Ignore It

Jefferies’ retail survey of 572 urban online shoppers suggests increasing influence of online retailing across segments, especially in electronics and apparel. The survey also suggests online retail is increasingly becoming a convenience format rather than just a discounting one. The recent steps by the government, coupled with increased preparedness of the physical retailers, will ensure that the incremental impact will be lower. Increasing competition in physical retailers is key to watch in FY20E for apparel and grocery players. Key highlights from the survey: 1) a majority (62%) shopped for apparel online in the past one year; 2) in the past six months, a majority of the shopping for electronics was online (60%), followed by personal care products; 3) incrementally, grocery and personal care saw the highest share of first-time online shoppers; 4) convenience was the key reason for shopping online followed by discounting; and, 5) preference to shop online was highest for electronics and least for jewelry. Given rising competition within grocery and value retailing, stretched valuations and limited margin levers, Jefferies downgrades DMART and VMART to Underperform. FULL REPORT

Tanmay Sharma, India Retail