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Future Retail

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Future groups retail chain Big Bazaar, which had launched its two-hour instant delivery service in April, has now touched 50,000 orders per day, reaching half its initial target of 100,000 orders per day in two months. The Kishore-Biyani-led chain had targeted at least three months to touch the 100,000-mark, persons in the know said, implying lockdown curbs over April-May, which had pushed up overall digital adoption, had aided growth. Big Bazaar had integrated its offline stores with its mobile app and portal when launching the service. Any order placed online would be delivered in the stipulated time in a move to enhance its digital presence. This is now expected to be stepped up, as the chain seeks to consolidate its presence online. The two-hour delivery promise covered categories such as food, fast-moving consumer goods, fashion and home segments. While delivery of non-essential retail products through online channels was not permitted in many places during the lockdown period of April and May, it is now opening up again as part of the states unlock programme. Most online platforms and marketplaces have kicked off discounts, offers and advanced their sale periods in categories such as fashion, lifestyle and durable products as they seek to tap the unlock momentum.  "Though lockdown restrictions are being lifted across cities, we should retain the online business (at Big Bazaar) because digital adoption as a habit has grown. The two-hour delivery promise has also helped," an official in the know said. Retail industry sources say that platforms such as JioMart and BigBasket are doing orders in the range of 500,000 and nearly 300,000 each per day. However, the order value per transaction is low for the two platforms at Rs 500-600, experts tracking the market said. In contrast, Big Bazaars order value per transaction is around Rs 1,200, informed sources said. The chain delivers products through its 290 stores in 140 cities, while JioMart delivers in 200 cities and BigBasket in 26 cities. In a conversation with Business Standard during launch of the two-hour delivery service in April, Kishore Biyani, founder, Future group, had said that Big Bazaar had tied up with multiple delivery partners such as Dunzo and Grab to deliver products quickly. "The online business runs on input metrics, which include order picking, ensuring the assortment is available and served by the nearest store with minimal or zero defect. We are going phase-wise and are learning along the way," he said. Biyani had also indicated that "digital first" would be a critical concept for most retailers in the post-Covid world, with many putting in significant investment to up their presence in the space. While Future groups court battle with Amazon over the sale of its wholesale, retail and logistics assets continues to rage, investors on Friday gave the thumbs up to the groups stocks. Shares of Future Consumer rose 19.17 per cent to Rs 10.07 apiece at the end of trade on the BSE. Both Future Retail and Future Lifestyle Fashion were locked in the upper circuit at the end of trade, closing the day at Rs 60.05 and Rs 70.50 apiece.

12.14 AM Jun 12th
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