Flipkart is planning to start hyperlocal delivery services in India, according to sources quoted by The Economic Times. Going by the report, the Walmart-backed firm will start operations next month.
“The launch is a month away, but the long-term plan is to deliver everything in 90 minutes,” a source familiar with the matter told ET.
To make this possible, the company will apparently make use of its investment in logistics startup Shadowfax. Flipkart invested $60 million in Shadowfax through a Series D funding round last December. According to the report, Flipkart will bet on its own warehouses and select shops, to begin with. However, the company has plans to expand to local stores and established retailers in the future.
In addition, Flipkart will start with grocery deliveries but will expand to deliver consumer goods and medicines from nearby stores. The service will reportedly use a separate brand name, although it will be part of the Flipkart app.
According to ET’s sources, the service will initially go live in Bengaluru. The initiative is likely to be limited to the city at least until Flipkart’s Big Billion Days sale this October.
Several companies have shown interest in grocery delivery since it is the need of the hour, due to the coronavirus pandemic. Reliance’s JioMart recently expanded to over 200 cities. The service is accessible via the company’s website or through WhatsApp.
Meanwhile, Swiggy has also expanded its grocery service to 125 cities in the country. Given the current circumstances, Flipkart’s new initiative is likely to take off. It will be interesting to see how the company manages to scale it over the following months.