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Big Bazaar’s home delivery biz picks up in tier-II cities

A month after rolling out its two-hour delivery service, hypermarket chain Big Bazaar said nearly half of its delivery business is now coming from tier-II cities where consumers are sending orders to local store managers using WhatsApp or logging onto its delivery app or website. Cities such as Bhopal, Mangalore, Lucknow, Ranchi, Kanpur, Ghaziabad and Varanasi have seen orders climb over the past week.

Ongoing restrictions in several states have spurred demand for home deliveries. Meanwhile, footfalls in large modern trade stores have fallen at least 50-60%, said industry executives, as fresh Covid-19-led restrictions prompt shoppers to avoid large stores and instead shop online or at local neighbourhood stores.

“I think almost like 40-45% of our business is coming from tier-II cities. And we realised the need and the importance at this point in time for people to not step out and call for home delivery is very high,” said Pawan Sarda, digital, marketing and e-commerce, Future Group.

Big Bazaar is Future Group’s flagship hypermarket retail chain. It launched the home delivery service even as the beleaguered company awaits the completion of its deal with Reliance Industries Ltd. Last August, Future agreed to sell its retail assets to Reliance Industries for ₹24,713 crore. The deal is, however, being challenged in court by Amazon.com Inc.

Big Bazaar’s two-hour home delivery service started with Mumbai, Bengaluru and Delhi in April, and has now been extended to 150 cities. The chain’s close to 290 stores are fulfilling deliveries, competing with the likes of Big Basket, Amazon, Milk Basket, Flipkart and Grofers.

It is fulfilling around 60,000 deliveries per day, aiming to touch 100,000 by the end of May. “We want to take every store to around 400-500 deliveries daily. We have a fairly good attach rate of non-food items as well, with people buying utensils, home goods, kitchen products, etc. In fact, 40-50% of our orders are beyond food and grocery. Our average ticket size is around ₹1,400, and it has been more or less consistent,” Sarda said. Livemint

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