Flipkart is looking to enter the hyperlocal delivery space by next month, starting with grocery services, reported the Economic Times. The Walmart-owned company will reportedly launch a separate vertical for this. The service is expected to first go live in Bengaluru, and will be on pilot mode in the city at least until October. With this, Flipkart will be up against the likes of Dunzo, Swiggy and Reliance’s JioMart, among others. We have reached out to Flipkart for more details.
Apart from groceries, Flipkart is reportedly planning to deliver consumer goods, and medicines, from nearby stores under a separate brand name. However, the service will be part of the Flipkart app, the ET report said. Flipkart will reportedly leverage on-demand logistics service Shadowfax to ensure last-mile delivery connectivity. Flipkart is a minority shareholder in the company, following a $60 million investment last year.
It is worth noting that Flipkart already does grocery delivery in certain cities via its Supermart platform, but with this new service, it’ll essentially be able to deliver goods from nearby stores. The company is reportedly aiming to complete deliveries under the new service within 90 minutes, and will initially deliver from local stores and its own small warehouses. However, over time, it will expand that to corner stores and modern retailers within a select neighbourhood, as per the ET report.
This development comes as COVID-19 related lockdowns in the country forced people to order groceries online, prompting platforms such as Swiggy and Zomato to enter the space. As the ET report pointed out, customers often end up repeating grocery purchases, and it is more of a priority compared to consumer electronics or fashion purchases.
Earlier this month, Flipkart’s plans of entering the food retail sector were thwarted after the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade rejected its proposal owing to a “regulatory issue”.