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Amazon delays rollout of online food retail venture

Thursday, November 2nd, 2017

 

The move is being keenly watched as it’s expected to trigger a price war with organised brick and-mortar retailers and online grocery companies, given the US company’s aggressive strategy.

It currently offers food products in some Indian cities through Amazon Pantry from third-party sellers. It also offers same-day grocery delivery on its Amazon Now app through a tie-up with retailers such as Big Bazaar and Hypercity in some cities.

Amazon debuted its first private grocery label in the US last year with products including coffee and baby food. Private label items are sold exclusively through Prime membership in the US and are priced lower than other popular brands. As it expands the grocery business in its home country, it will also open offline Amazon Go stores that will offer customers a checkout-free experience through technology.

The timing of the opening will be determined by Amazon’s ambition, said Devangshu Dutta, chief executive of retail consultant Third Eyesight.

“It depends on what scale the company is planning to launch at,” he said. “If it is a big-bang launch, then the vendor base has to be ready because the backend is already there as Amazon runs Pantry, assuming they don’t get into perishable categories.”

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