Approves Amazon's food retail plans

11 July, 2017, 22:46 | Author: Becky Perry
  • Amazon offers grocery deliveries in the US via its Amazon Fresh service.                  Amazon

The government has chose to fast-track 71 proposals pending for foreign direct investment (FDI), from companies like Amazon, Grofers, Urban Ladder, One97 (which runs Paytm) and Jasper Infotech (Snapdeal).

The Amazon empire continues to expand.

According to a senior government official, who declined to be named, Amazon's $515-million investment would be spread over a period of five years.

Competition is all set to be warmed up, as Flipkart too will launch their own food and grocery delivery section, very soon.

An Amazon spokesman wasn't immediately available for comment.

Amazon is the Seattle-based retail giant and is one of the major e-commerce companies in India, while Big Basket and Grofers are into space of online grocery. Its closest rival, Flipkart Internet, shut down its hyper-local grocery delivery app called "Nearby" a year ago after just four months due to poor demand.

On the heels of Prime Day, the retail giant has won approval in India to stock and deliver groceries, according to Reuters. Grofers for example has shut operations in several cities, as it struggled to raise funds. "We have sought an approval to invest and partner with the government in achieving this vision", Amazon stated.

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Amazon is in talks to buy BigBasket, a Bloomberg report said last month, citing unidentified sources.

This means that Amazon India has now received a free hand to sell food and grocery items, and much more.

Apparently, the company refused to reveal more details on the order but affirmed that it has won the government's approval to sell food products. Amazon has so far had to act as an online marketplace providing online and logistics support for other companies rather than selling products directly to consumers.

Amazon has proposed to invest around Dollars 500 million in retail of food products. The company has bet $13.7 billion on the acquisition of grocery store chain Whole Foods Market to amp up its ability to delivery food.

It's not clear if Amazon would bring the same concept to its proposed physical stores in India.

The challenge for Amazon would be to build a good category mix as well as convince customers about the quality of food items that they are unable to see and feel, he added.

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