Reliance Retail Goes Online to Sell Groceries
Shoppers at a Reliance Fresh supermarket store in Mumbai (Reuters)
Billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Retail has launched an online service for home delivery of groceries, vegetables and fruits. Companies such as BigBasket, AaramShop, and MyGrahak are also present in the online grocery market.
Reliance Retail’s move in to the e-commerce space follows the success of start-ups like Flipkart and Snapdeal, who have got billions of dollars in funding and are expanding at an exponential pace. The strong growth recorded by online stores is seen a big challenge for physical stores such as those operated by Big Bazaar and Reliance Retail.
Last month, Kishore Biyani, the chief of Future Group which operates Big Bazaar chain of stores, had criticised Flipkart and other e-commerce retailers in India for the deep discounts they offered during a promotional sale for the festival of Diwali, saying it would hurt other retail channels.
India’s e-commerce sector is expected to grow from $2.3 billion in 2014 to $32 billion by 2020, according to consulting firm Technopak.
Reliance Retail, which is the biggest retailer in India by revenue, is a subsidiary of Reliance Industries, the country’s largest private sector company by sales.
Reliance Retail’s online-ordering initiative is currently restricted to South Mumbai, Thane, and Navi Mumbai. In these localities, consumers can buy fruits and vegetables by logging on to www.reliancefreshdirect.com. The company will extend online ordering of fruits and vegetables to other geographies subsequently.
Reliance Retail’s September quarter revenues grew by 20 per cent year-on-year to Rs 4,167 crore. Its profit before depreciation, interest and tax nearly doubled to Rs 186 crore during the quarter.