The countdown has begun! Diwali is only ten days away, and given past sales trends, these ten days are expected to be the busiest ones for the dealer fraternity. As the festive sales fervor catches up, propelled by consumer freebies, dealer offers, and trade incentives, a lot of noise and excitement at each retail outlet is anticipated.
But this year seems to be defying all that we have come to expect for as many years as memory goes. Demonetization and confusion on GST can be identified as the main culprits. Increasing popularity of modern retail stores and large family chains, and the e-commerce bloodbath, now spreading across tier 2 and 3 cities too are deemed as major spoilers. Rise in input costs has not helped.
There is fear among the small retailers for whom it may be a question of survival that they might have to shut shop! There is some reassurance from recent developments as aggressive pumping in of funds by Paytm (backed by Chinese behemoth, Alibaba) and a deep impact expected from government announcements as the Saubhagya scheme. The Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana may expand the dealer network in underpenetrated regions.
On the global front, players are building up OLED capabilities. While LG display is exhausting its financial resources by building both large area and small/medium OLED fabs, with a USD 6.95 billion investment on two OLED lines in South Korea, Samsung’s strategy is to concentrate on the small and medium size (6th Gen) and construct what appears to be enough capacity to meet the entire industry’s demand for OLED panels. In the large area segment, Samsung, at least for the next 3–5 years will depend on China, there will be a surplus of supply, given all the Gen 8.5 and Gen 10.5 fabs under construction or being planned. While currently, Chinese small panel OLED producers struggle to increase yields, as in the LCD space, there will be a time when they, despite the inevitable bumps in the road, are likely to compete directly with Samsung Display.
We wish our readers a Happy and Prosperous Diwali!