Amazon has infused Rs 10.5 crore in its Indian food retail arm Amazon Retail India, reports The Economic Times. The publication found about the development in company’s filings with the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA).
Amazon offers groceries via two platforms, Prime Now and Amazon Pantry. Amazon Retail India is a vendor for grocery items listed on both the platforms.
Amazon Pantry lists mostly non-perishable items and follows its marketplace model. Prime Now stocks the items in fulfilment centres, and hence offers faster delivery. Prime Now is a separate mobile app. It is currently available in Bangalore, Mumbai, New Delhi and Hyderabad, while Pantry has a presence in 34 cities.
Timeline of events in Amazon’s grocery offering
March 2015: The company had started grocery delivery service called KiranaNow, starting from Bangalore.
July 2017: The company received government of India’s approval to invest $500 million in the food retail segment. The name of the service by now was changed to Amazon Now.
April 2017: The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) approved Amazon India’s plan to open a wholly-owned subsidiary to stock and sell local grocery produce online.
February 2017: Amazon India applied for permission to make an investment of $500 million in the online food retailing space.
February 2018: The e-commerce giant had launched its own food retailing business — Amazon Retail India — in February with a pilot in Pune.
February 2018: Amazon India opened 15 new Fulfilment Centres (FC) for its app-only hyperlocal grocery delivery service Prime Now (earlier Amazon Now). The new FCs are equipped with temperature controlled zones, to store perishable products such as fruits & vegetables (F&V), dairy products, chilled & frozen products. Besides this, the centres stores smartphones, laptops, kitchen appliances, other consumer electronic products, beauty products and household supplies.
May 2018: Amazon India rebranded Amazon Now to Prime Now, and expanded its product category along with new time slots for the users. It started delivery between two new time slots: 6 am to 8 am, and 10 pm to 12 midnight for it Prime Now users.
Other players in online grocery
This development comes at a time when the Kishore Biyani-led Future Group is reportedly set to start its hyperlocal grocery delivery by end of this month. Initially, it will deliver items like milk, eggs and bread (apparently in the morning), and later users will be able to get fresh fruits and vegetables along with other grocery items.
Amazon’s direct rival in India, Flipkart — which was recently acquired by Walmart — is reportedly planning an aggressive grocery push this year. According to this ET report, Flipkart will launch grocery services in five cities including Chennai, Mumbai, Delhi–NCR and Pune by July, and is expected to offer steep discounts like 25–50% on groceries.
Food ordering and delivery platform Swiggy too is reportedly diversifying its hyperlocal delivery segment by adding groceries and medicines with the new service will be called ‘Dash’, and is expected to start its pilot operations in next few months.