Future Group Counters E-rivals With New App for grocery delivery

The stores service customers within a radius of 2-2 5 kms and the retailer plans to increase its network drastically
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In order to compete with online grocery delivery firms such as BigBasket, Grofers and even larger players like Amazon Now and Amazon Pantry, the country’s biggest retailer, Future Group is launching an e-commerce application for Easyday members, resembling Amazon’s paid subscription service Amazon Prime.

The Kishore Biyani-owned retail chain will cater to the daily and weekly requirements of consumers such as fresh fruits, vegetables, dairy items and others.

“Fruits and vegetables are a great way to get customers frequently. They are daily products. We want the first mover advantage,” said Vinay Bhatia, CEO, group loyalty and analytics, Future Group. “Delivering fresh fruits and vegetables from a central warehouse to customers’ house (which most e-commerce players do at present) is unimaginable,” he added.

The retailer intends to use its neighbour format stores Easyday for delivery. The stores’ service customers within a radius of 2-2.5 kms and the retailer plan to increase its network drastically. Easyday club membership programme charges Rs 999 as an annual membership fee, for which members get 10% discount on all purchases.

The app, which will be launched in the coming weeks, will also offer them the convenience of shopping from their homes. The company at present has more than 950 stores and the target is to take it to 10,000 by 2022. Prior to this, the group has had several unsuccessful attempts at e-commerce, with its first attempt Future Bazaar and Big Bazaar Direct shutting operations. The company had later acquired online furniture retailer FabFurnish to market its brand HomeTown.

Food and grocery account for almost half the overall retail basket in the country. Although online penetration is still less than 1%, it has high growth potential. Morgan Stanley expects the grocery and food delivery market to reach an online penetration rate of 4% by 2020, touching gross merchandise (GMV) of $19 billion, or about Rs 1.2 lakh crore, making it the largest online category after electronics and apparel.