Kishore Biyani-led Future Group will start its hyperlocal grocery delivery by end of this month, reports The Economic Times. According to the publication, the group will be delivering groceries via its 1,000 outlets under its brands like  Easyday, Nilgiris and Heritage. The service will initially be available in metro cities, and later will be expanded to other cities.

Initially, it will deliver items 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.

The ET report says that users will be able to place orders through a mobile app, and Future Group-owned retail outlets within a 2–3 kilometre radius will deliver the items. It is unclear which app to be used for orders. It is likely that users can place the orders via Easyday app, as it currently allows members to make a list of grocery items and place orders on WhatsApp. According to the Easyday website, as soon someone becomes a member, the store manager sends them a WhatsApp contact, on which users can share their shopping lists. Buyers can schedule a time and date for pick up and home delivery.

Developments at Future Group

In January, Future Group’s supply chain solutions subsidiary bought Snapdeal’s parent Jasper Infotech’s logistics arm Vulcan Express for Rs 35 crore. Kishore Biyani, Founder & Chairman, Future Group had said that with this acquisition, the group plans to boost its last mile capabilities for its e-commerce and retail business.

Future Supply Chain’s network caters to Future Group as well as third-party customers for logistics. Its network is present pan-India, with 44 warehouses, 14 logistics hubs, 106 branches, and about 4.2m square feet of warehousing space. Incorporated in 2013, Vulcan has a network of 15 warehouses and 166 hubs, and maintains a total warehousing space of over 876,700 sq. ft. across India. Vulcan Express adds up operations across 100 cities, 2,000 pin codes, and 476 of its employees to Future Group.

According to Future’s Q4 FY18’s investor’s presentation, its Offline to Online (O2O) platform is ready, and its last mile delivery capabilities are in place.

Grocery space

Future Retail’s entry into grocery will mainly give a competition to players like Milkbasket, BigBasket, Grofers, Amazon amongst others.

A week ago, Amazon rebranded its app-only grocery service to Prime Now from Amazon Now, and has expanded its product category along with new time slots for the users. Amazon said it is starting delivery between two new time slots: 6 am to 8 am, and 10 pm to 12 midnight for it Prime Now users. For Prime members, Amazon has launched 2-hour express delivery services anytime between 6 am to midnight. This service is currently available in Bangalore, Mumbai, New Delhi and Hyderabad. The company had started grocery delivery service in March 2015. The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) had approved Amazon’s plans to stock and sell local grocery produce online in April 2017.

BigBasket and Grofers too received government’s approval last year to retail food products manufactured and produced 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.