Leveraging local networks for last mile delivery is a growing trend amongst e-commerce companies in India. After Amazon and EKart (Flipkart’s in-house logistics arm), Myntra had begun tapping network of ‘Kirana’ stores to fulfil its last mile in April this year.
The Flipkart-owned fashion platform is leveraging 2,000 kirana stores and other small shops to ensure last mile deliveries across states. According to the company, its ‘Mensa Network’ (network of small shops) ensures one in every five deliveries it delivers.
The company has about 2,000 stores in its Mensa Network, out of which 40 percent are kirana shops, while the rest are various service providers such as mobile repair and recharge shops, stationery shops, tours and travel operators, courier booking shops and small apparel shops.
While 23 percent of Myntra’s delivery fulfils by these stores during non-sales days, the volume goes up significantly during sales season (like Big Billions Day)
“We are aiming to do 70 percent deliveries through MENSA. We have invested majorly in technology to enable and further scale MENSA to the next level,” said Manpreet Ratia, Chief People Officer, Myntra to ET.
Besides Mensa Network, Myntra is also investing in ‘Project Mass’. It allows company’s delivery staff to start their own shops and link them to the Mensa Network. For opening up such stores, Myntra is also helping staffs with a seed capital of Rs 40,000 each.
The neighbourhood kirana stores’ proximity to households makes them particularly well-placed to deliver or drop-off deliveries. Importantly, it also helps e-commerce companies to reduces delivery failure rates and saves costs.
Last year EKart had pursued 700 small kirana stores and other service providers to ensure last mile deliveries in select cities. Amazon started leveraging networks of Kirana stores in 2014. This year it kicked off a programme called ‘I Have Space’ (IHS). Under the programme, kirana stores use extra storage space for Amazon packages, which they deliver to customers within a 2-4 km vicinity, for a fee.