With India going into a complete lockdown for the next 21 days, ecommerce giant Flipkart decided to temporarily suspend all operations and services for the time being.
The company made the announcement on its official website. It said, “These are difficult times, times like no other. Never before, have communities stayed apart to stay safe! Never before, has been at home meant helping the nations!”
But soon after Flipkart decided to restart its grocery delivery services Supermart. As per an ET report, Supermart will offer food and essentials in Bengaluru, Mumbai, Chennai and Delhi.
Flipkart’s decision to suspend all services was an outcome of the complete lockdown announcement made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi last night (March 24) at 8 PM. Even though, ecommerce companies like Flipkart, Amazon, BigBasket, Grofers, and others were allowed to operate to provide essential goods and services.
In an internal mail shared with all the Flipkart employees, Adarsh Menon, senior vice president at Flipkart, announced the decision after PM Modi’s speech. In the email, accessed by Business Standard, Flipkart announced that it will stop accepting all orders from the night of March 24 or the morning of March 25 for all the three supply chains the company offers — grocery, non-large goods and large items.
Menon said that Flipkart plans to disable all orders and later start enabling categories in a sequential manner. He also clarified that the senior executives will “evaluate how to get supply chains back in consultation with government and stakeholders but as of now the platform will not accept any orders.”
Previously, Flipkart had also told its sellers that it will be shutting down all fulfilment centres till April 2, and would not pick up products stored at seller warehouses.
Like Flipkart, Amazon too decided to optimise its operations in order to tackle the coronavirus pandemic more efficiently and meet the customers’ demand. Amazon, in a blog post published on March 24, announced that it will be serving products that are currently critical for the customers, temporarily prioritising its available fulfilment and logistics capacity. The high priority items will include household staples, packaged food, health care, hygiene, personal safety and similar other products. All the other orders of lower priority will be cancelled.
“These changes are in effect from 24th March 2020, and we will update when we resume normal operations. We will follow all Centre and State Government guidance on this. We continue to work with concerned government authorities to ensure on-ground support that will enable us to offer a more expanded selection to fulfil customer needs,” Amazon added.