Why are Amazon and Flipkart advancing their Republic Day sales?

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When the going gets tough, the tough see an opportunity. As the Covid-19 third wave intensifies across India and new restrictions kick in, the e-commerce biggies in the country are looking to make the most out of the situation. 

The last time around when India had something resembling a lockdown and the mobility of the general public was curtailed, both big and small cities saw people switching to online outlets for all kinds of purchases. Sensing a repeat of that phase, the big two among India's e-commerce players, Amazon and Flipkart, are said to be advancing their annual Republic Day sales.

According to multiple media reports, the two platforms have already increased their inventory and will start their annual sales event around January 16-17.

Flipkart and Amazon usually have their Republic Day sales around January 20-22 and they last 3-4 days, coinciding with India's Republic Day that is on January 26.

No official confirmation yet

Though there is no official word yet from the two online companies, their executives have been quoted informally as saying that the change in schedule is mostly due to the pandemic restrictions which have, in turn, impacted the supply chain and delivery timelines.

An Economic Times report had Avneet Singh Marwah, chief executive of Super Plastronics Pvt Ltd as saying that “the online Republic Day sales are getting advanced since the marketplaces fear a continued surge in infections and stricter restrictions by states, which could impact supply chain and deliveries”. Sales in offline store stores have come down, and it's a big opportunity for the two companies to convert their existing business online, he added.

Of course, there are some question marks hanging over the last-mile delivery of the online companies. There may be some delay in deliveries, and hence the sale event is being advanced, it is said.

E-commerce companies are confident that the various restrictions imposed by the State governments would not impact them. In general, governments have also veered around to the view that by allowing online delivery channels to function, they (governments) have a better chance of confining the public indoors.

Republic Day sales are the first of the many annual sale events of the shopping portals.

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Balakumar K
Senior Editor

Over three decades as a journalist covering current affairs, politics, sports and now technology. Former Editor of News Today, writer of humour columns across publications and a hardcore cricket and cinema enthusiast. He writes about technology trends and suggest movies and shows to watch on OTT platforms.