Future Retail will deliver groceries and clothes from its main retail stores within two hours, it said on Thursday, as the company expands in an e-commerce sector dominated by the likes of Amazon.com Inc. Future will allow customers to order goods from its popular hypermarket "Big Bazaar" stores in Mumbai, Bengaluru, and New Delhi and later expand the service to 150 cities, the company said in a statement. There are 285 Big Bazaar outlets in India.
Future, the country's second-largest brick-and-mortar retailer, has only had small e-commerce presence so far but plans to use faster deliveries to expand in India's fast-growing e-commerce market, which is seen growing by 30 per cent a year to $200 billion by 2026. Popular online grocery service BigBasket, in which Tata Group is seeking to acquire a majority stake, and Amazon both offer quick online deliveries in India.
Asked about the competitive landscape, Future Group executive Kamaldeep Singh said during a media briefing the company would have an edge over other players as it aims to deliver a wider array of goods from its stores - including food, fashion, and kitchen utilities - within two hours.
Retail companies, as well as consumer goods makers in India, are focusing on bolstering their e-commerce prowess as shoppers increasingly move online to order everything from clothes to groceries. Future's plans come as its businesses struggled in recent months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, forcing it to sell its retail assets to Reliance Industries for $3.4 billion.
The transaction is currently being reviewed by Supreme Court after Amazon accused Future of breaching some contracts. Reliance is also fast expanding into e-commerce operations with its JioMart online platform