Amazon’s India arm is planning to start delivering groceries before, a strategy which could challenge the existence of hyperlocal start-ups and boost the American firm’s rating against rivals like Flipkart and Snapdeal.
The strategic move comes at a time when grocery delivery start-ups like Grofers and PepperTap are winding operations in several cities.
Amazon Seller Services Pvt. Ltd, the Indian unit of the world’s largest online retailer, plans to expand its Kirana Now initiative into a full-fledged business, three people familiar with the matter said. Amazon soft-launched Kirana Now, named after the Hindi word for grocery, last March in a few neighbourhoods in Bengaluru.
The company has hired hundreds of delivery men for the initiative and plans to expand to up to 10 cities in India this year, the people cited above said. A majority of the orders will be delivered by Amazon’s own logistics service in order to ensure consistency in delivery, they added. None of them wished to be identified.
Initially, Amazon will launch in Bengaluru and subsequently expand to other cities. Amazon has forged partnerships with modern retailers and kirana stores for the launch in Bengaluru, the people said. The company will aim to deliver orders within two hours of receiving them, they said.
A spokesperson for Amazon declined to comment. The Financial Express newspaper reported Amazon’s entry into grocery delivery on 7 January.
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