To gain a foothold in India’s growing ecommerce market, India’s second-largest retail chain, Future Retail, will start offering deliveries from its main retail stores within two hours of receiving the order from a customer.
Future Group executive Kamaldeep Singh said during a media briefing the company would have an edge over other players as it will look to deliver a wider array of goods, including food, fashion and kitchen utilities, straight from its retail outlets within two hours. The news was first reported by Reuters.
Currently, several ecommerce companies such as Amazon and Flipkart have their paid subscription programs which offer users faster deliveries within a day, with no delivery fees.
Future Retail is India’s second-largest retail chain after Reliance Retail and has more than 1500 stores across 437 Indian cities and towns covering an area of 16 Mn square feet. It is the parent of brands like Big Bazaar, Fashion Big Bazaar, HomeTown, Food Bazaar, and others. Big Bazaar reportedly contributes about 80% to Future Retail’s revenue. Comparatively, Reliance Retail operates in nearly 12K stores across 6,600 towns and cities, covering an area of 28.7 Mn square feet.
Reliance Retail’s deal to acquire Future Retail for INR 24,713 Cr, first inked in August last year, has been stuck in limbo ever since Amazon won a temporary injunction against the deal from the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) in October last year.
On March 18, a Delhi HC bench upheld the order of SIAC on the Reliance-Future deal. However, a week later, another bench of the same court stayed the earlier order till the next date of hearing, which is April 27.
Amazon has contended that according to its contract with Future, the sale of the business to certain companies, including Reliance is barred.
Future Group’s lawyers have argued that Future Retail — the entity that signed the deal with Reliance — was not part of the contract between Amazon and Future Coupons. However, Amazon’s counsel has argued that both Future entities have the same owners.
Now, Reliance Retail has extended the long-stop date for completion of its deal by another six months, as Future Retail’s legal battle with Amazon continues. The deadline for the deal has been extended to September 30, 2021, from March 31, 2021.