Amazon India on Thursday announced the launch of its online grocery store Amazon Fresh in four cities — Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Pune and Chennai.
The development comes at a time when the demand for the e-groceries has ballooned in the country which otherwise has historically been more prone to traditional shopping. Analysts at consulting firm RedSeer said there was an expected 1.5 to 1.6 times increase in households that subscribed to the online grocery in May compared to January. The size (in terms of GMV) of the e-grocery market is estimated to jump manifold to $18.2 billion by 2024 from $1.9 billion in 2019, they said.
With this expansion, the service that claims to offer a selection of products across categories, including packaged foods and home care besides perishables, will be available in eight cities across the country.
In a statement, Amazon India said it has also expanded its network of Fresh Centres taking the total count to more than 25. The centres primarily facilitate storage of products and are also equipped with infrastructure to enable special packaging for frozen food among others.
Customers can book delivery slots between 6 am to midnight and get the products delivered within four hours.
“The investment in these specialized centres is in line with our long-term commitment to invest in India and create hundreds of job opportunities,” said Prakash Kumar Dutta, VP, fulfilment operations and supply chain at Amazon India.
Gurgaon-based Grofers claims to have acquired as much as 18 lakh new customers since the lockdown. BigBasket had earlier said the number of new customers has increased by as much as 84% compared to the pre-Covid levels while the retention rate grew by 50% against the earlier 30%-45%.
Amazon Fresh first started operations in Bengaluru last year. The company also runs Amazon Pantry under its offerings of grocery services. Amazon Pantry caters to more than 300 cities and primarily fulfils non-perishable grocery needs.