With more and more States imposing lockdowns to curb rising Covid cases, retailers and e-commerce companies are urging State governments to allow doorstep delivery of non-essential products.

States like Maharashtra, Delhi and Rajasthan, which have imposed lockdowns, are only allowing doorstep delivery of essential products such as food, pharmaceuticals and medical equipments.

Manisha Sangani, Director & CEO, Just Lifestyle Private Ltd, which runs Just Watches retail chain, said, “The restrictions and lockdowns have been a setback for organised retail . Companies that operate in categories that are driven by discretionary spends have been hit the hardest. It has impacted the recovery trends that we were seeing earlier. Doorstep delivery for all categories of products should be allowed in States like Maharashtra .”

Access to all products

E-commerce companies too have been urging State governments, which are only allowing essential products delivery, to open it up to for other products to ensure consumer convenience. A senior executive with an e-commerce firm said through industry bodies, the industry has been reaching out to various State governments on the need to ensure people can get access to all products through contactless delivery as the current definition of essential and non-essential is not practical as consumers are staying and working from home.

Retailers’ industry bodies have also been urging State governments to not only allow delivery of all goods but also allow all formats of retail to do doorstep deliveries.

Kumar Rajagopalan, CEO, Retailers Association of India (RAI), had earlier said, “citizens also need non-food items such as clothing, hardware, electrical, household kitchen items among others on a daily basis. To enable fulfilling these needs without hardships, all sizes and formats of non-food retail should be allowed to take orders over phone and other electronic means for home deliveries.”

Small and medium enterprises have also urged the Delhi government to allow all products to be delivered to enable them to earn revenues. Vinod Kumar, President, India, SME Forum, said, “The State government needs to atleast allow the e-commerce industry to cater to the people for all products and not essentials. That is the only way to safeguard the interests of micro and small sellers as well as consumers. The disruption of e-commerce supply chain will have negative cascade effect on entire supply chain.”