US-based ecommerce giant Amazon is aggressively pushing its offline retail play in India as it looks to sell a range of products available on its online marketplace through the three physical retail chains it has invested in — Future Group, More and Shoppers Stop.
Amazon will begin by selling its private labels from the stores of these retailers before expanding product portfolio to include the top-selling products on its ecommerce marketplace, The Economic Times reported.
AmazonBasics, the largest-selling private label from the ecommerce behemoth globally, is a top priority for the company in its offline strategy, the report said. Amazon has a wide variety of products under the brand name ranging from air-conditioners, vacuum cleaners, to batteries and cables, bedsheets, dinner plates and cutlery, backpacks and umbrellas.
The company is in discussions with the three retail chains to sell these products through over 2,000 of their brick-and-mortar stores.
Two fashion private labels from Amazon — Prowl and Just F — are already being sold on Shoppers Stop.
Amazon also plans to launch its grocery and fashion private brands on the physical stores of these retail chains.
Last month, Seattle-headquartered Amazon had acquired an indirect stake of nearly 3.6% in Future Retail, India’s second-largest brick-and-mortar retailer by revenues.
Future Retail operates retail chains under several formats including Big Bazaar, Nilgiris and Hypercity. It manages over 2,000 stores across 400 cities, effectively controlling about a third of India’s organised food and grocery market.
Earlier, Amazon had signed similar deals with Aditya Birla Group’s supermarket chain More and fashion and lifestyle retailer Shoppers Stop.
More runs about 600 supermarkets and 20 hypermarkets across the country while Shoppers Stop operates 83 stores across 40 cities.
The move signals Amazon’s intent for a wider presence in the retail sector as it goes head-to-head with rival Walmart.
Apart from owning India’s largest home-grown ecommerce platform Flipkart, Walmart operates a chain of wholesale cash-and-carry stores in the country under the Best Price brand.
Currently, the Bentonville, Arkansas-headquartered retailer doesn’t sell directly to retail customers. Instead, it serves local businesses and kirana stores through the cash-and-carry outlets.
Walmart is reportedly exploring a potential joint venture with the Tata Group for a store-based, multi-channel retail play, The Economic Times reported recently. The Tata Group owns and operates several formats including Westside, Star Bazaar, and Croma.
With ecommerce currently accounting for just 3% of India’s overall retail market, brick-and-mortar players will continue to be the backbone of the sector for some time. Therefore, it’s no surprise that Walmart and Amazon – two of the world's largest retailers – want a piece of the country’s $700 billion retail opportunity.