Exclusive: Flipkart plans grocery service in Hyderabad, Chennai and NCR soon

Flipkart

After Bengaluru, Flipkart is planning to kick-off grocery delivery service ‘Supermart’ in Hyderabad, Chennai, and Delhi (NCR). The company also has staged a closed pilot in Delhi for its employees for two days early this week, two people familiar with the plan said to Entrackr.

“Flipkart has been taking grocery seriously and it doesn’t want to wait long in expanding Supermart to other cities. It’s slated to launch grocery vertical by May end or early June in Hyderabad and Chennai,” said both sources on condition of anonymity.

The Kalyan Krishnamurthy-led firm also has begun looking space for warehouse and hiring delivery personnel in both state capitals. “Delhi launch is likely to happen after setting up operations in Hyderabad and Chennai, as per company’s plan,” emphasised one of the above sources.

Importantly, Entrackr has tried placing order grocery (including staple like pulses) through Flipkart in Gurugram. Much to our surprise, we successfully placed the order with a delivery address in Golf Course Road. It also promised a delivery by Wednesday next week.

Entrackr has sent a detailed set of queries to Flipkart. We will update the post with its responses as it comes in.

The SoftBank-backed company had re-launched grocery vertical in November 2017. Grocery has become a top priority for leading e-commerce companies in India as the transaction in other categories aren’t growing significantly.

Last year, Krishnamurthy said that 80 per cent of units bought in India is grocery, and Flipkart can’t ignore the segment as it looks to accelerate growth with staggering $2.5 billion fresh funding.

Flipkart is expected to give a tough fight to incumbents – Bigbasket (in south India) and Grofers in Delhi (NCR). Both online grocers also had raked in fresh funds from Alibaba and SoftBank. While Alibaba poured-in a staggering $225 million in Bigbasket, Softbank invested $62 million in Gurugram-based online grocery platform.

The emphasis of Flipkart on grocery is obvious and company’s plan to get into the above three cities will certainly a concern for Bigbasket and Grofers. The strong interest of the Bengaluru-based firm in grocery can even trigger consolidations.

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