Guess this anxiety over e-commerce is natural. First e-commerce was rejected in the country, now there is anxiety over its rapid strides. Are these stages natural for retailers? Guess, every time there is a major disruption, we would respond in this fashion.
If you trace our evolution of mode of transport, from walking we moved to riding horses, to carts, to two wheelers, motorized four wheels and rails on land to ships with oars, then sails and motorized engines on sea and from monoplanes to biplanes and then jets in air! At each of these stages, was the other mode of travel threatened of extinction? Or does each still has its time and place? (More people I know walk these day for exercise rather than commuting, though. I relish doing Heritage walks in old Cities 🙂
We have had disruption from new formats like shopping centers / malls and even then there was call to announce the death of high streets. Each format / model / channel goes through its peak periods but will live as long as it’s valued by the consumer.
In British India, one could book a rail ticket from the Madras to Colombo, which included the last leg on a ship! If we remember, all that we are doing is providing a service and find the best way to do so, we are fine. The railroad millionaires of the US would have been way better off if they expanded to airlines. It is natural as long as you remember you are in the travel Business.
All this does not factor the PE impact on e-commerce though. The discounting due to this can mess up the scene if it persists, may even damage some brands beyond repair. But then, like in war times, casualties are a way of life.