The mobile app-based grocery delivery business in India, which has witnessed a string of failures till date, on Friday saw its latest exit in Flipkart Nearby.
Flipkart, India’s largest e-commerce platform, announced shutting down of its recently-launched pilot service ‘Nearby’.
“Flipkart Nearby was a piloted in select areas of Bangalore (sic). The experiment was a test for understanding efficiencies and operations of the hyper local business. The project has now run its course and the learnings from this will now be used for future operations of the company,” it said in a statement.
Interestingly, Flipkart’s exit from this business comes less than a month after it saw entry of its main rival in the e-commerce business — Amazon.
The world’s second-largest e-tailer Amazon started ‘Kirana Now’ in March last year as a pilot in Bengaluru. In February, it formally launched ‘Amazon Now’ and added retail chains such as Big Bazaar and Godrej Nature’s Basket as merchants.
Grocery delivery startups are already under immense pressure in India. From a total of 40 companies, four years back, the number has come down to a 3 to 4. The existing players in the business include Grofers, Big Basket, Peppertap and Zopnow.
Mobile wallet company Paytm, had also started a separate app under the name ZIP as a pilot in Bengaluru for grocery delivery, and got modern retail chains as merchants, but soon discontinued it. Though, the company said earlier that it is reworking on the product and will re-launch it soon.
However, the demand is there. Groceries constitute 50-70% of the $500-600 billion Indian retail market.