Mukesh Ambani-backed Reliance Jio’s plans of entering into ecommerce came true with the launch of grocery delivery platform — JioMart. And now to expand the business the company is aggressively adding a new network of grocery stores.
According to ET, JioMart is adding new retail grocery stores that are also going to be used for last-mile delivery of orders received by the company via its online platform and mobile application.
Further, sources close to the development said that the company is planning to open thousands of small grocery outlets — Reliance Smart Points and Smart Stores, which would be spread across an area of 500 sq feet and 1,500 sq ft respectively. In a statement, the company reportedly said that these Reliance Smart Points are a smaller version of Smart Store with a more local presence in nearby markets. According to Reliance, the turnaround time for the launch of these stores from the conceptualisation stage is around 45 days.
While the company has launched JioMart on a pilot basis at three locations in Maharashtra — Navi Mumbai, Kalyan and Thane, Reliance has reportedly commissioned real estate agents to scout for around 500 locations in North India as well.
These outlets are expected to help the newly launched company to expand in the grocery delivery space and compete with the likes of BigBasket and Grofers. Another source aware of JioMart’s expansion plans reportedly said that in the upcoming months, the company is planning to launch around 100 stores in Delhi and Mumbai respectively.
To prevent cash burn in later stages, the company is looking for locations that have low rent, the media report added. As of now, the company has already launched 18 stores in Navi Mumbai, Thane and Kalyan.
According to the company’s website, the grocery delivery platform is expected to host a catalogue of 50K products. Additionally, it will not charge any money for home delivery. The company also assures that it will offer no questions asked return, and express delivery.
Besides Reliance, ecommerce majors like Flipkart and Amazon have also launched their online grocery delivery platforms. The Walmart-owned Flipkart has recently ramped up its grocery plans on priority, starting with a pilot in Hyderabad. With the entry of Reliance and Flipkart in the online grocery delivery market, the competition has become more intense for unicorns such as Grofers and BigBasket, who are thriving on their path to profitability.