Looks like its going to be a long battle between two of the richest businessmen of our times, as both bid to capture India’s lucrative retail sector. After Reliance soft-launched JioMart, Amazon has today announced a partnership with the country’s second biggest retailer, Future Retail. India is without a doubt one of the most important overseas market for the company and Jeff Bezos isn’t someone who sees potential and does not tap into it.
Future Retail operates almost 1500 stores in the country, but as of yet, has not explored the online marketplace so vigorously. That is why, the company announced on Monday that it will be partnering with Amazon as a part of a long term relationship to expand the reach of its stores.
With this agreement, Amazon will become the official online sales channel for Future Retail stores including department and grocery stores chain Big Bazaar and lifestyle food superstore Foodhall. This will also allow the company to expand its Prime Now network which now operates in Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, and Hyderabad. The companies will have groceries as their main focus which is a category that Amazon has been trying to get into from a long time. The company’s biggest competitor, believe it or not, could be Swiggy as it has also been eyeing the category for a while now.
The announcement follows from Amazon’s taking over of Future Retail’s Future Coupons, which happened a month ago. The deal gave Amazon a 3.58% share in the company.
Amazon is excited about its future with Future Retail, said Amit Agarwal, SVP and Country Head of Amazon India. In a statement, he said “Future Retail’s national footprint of stores offering thousands of products across fashion, appliances, home, kitchen and grocery will now be available to millions of customers shopping on Amazon.in, in hours across 25+ cities,”.
Amazon is the biggest player in the market but India is more of an offline country. Online retail still makes up for only 5% of the country’s total retail. And Amazon’s partnership is aimed at capturing a large chunk of the remaining 95.