“This arrangement will now build on the robust offline and online capabilities of both organizations, creating significant value for customers," the companies said in a joint statement.
The announcement also comes at a time when India’s richest man, Mukesh Ambani, is gearing up to take on both e-commerce giants Amazon and Walmart with the soft launch of his “new commerce" venture ‘Jiomart’.
“Amazon and Future Retail share common values of serving customers everywhere in the best possible manner," said Kishore Biyani, chairman and managing director, Future Retail Ltd.
As part of the agreement, Amazon India will become the authorized online sales channel for FRL stores and FRL will ensure the participation of relevant FRL stores on the Amazon India marketplace and its programmes, the statement added.
“This arrangement will allow us to build upon each other’s strengths in the physical and digital space so that customers benefit from the best services, products, assortment and price," Biyani said in the statement.
Last year, Amazon had acquired a 49% stake in Future Coupons, which holds about 7.3% in Future Retail through convertible warrants, the company that holds Biyani’s BigBazaar retail chain.
Both companies will focus on groceries, general merchandise and beauty products, apart from fashion and footwear categories.
As part of arrangement, FRL will list its items on Amazon Prime Now programme to reach out to customers within two hours in Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad. The Mumbai-based firm said it will increase existing store-infrastructure at its retail outlets for “facilitating seamless packaging and pickup of products ordered online".
FRL and Amazon India have already launched this service across 22 stores. Both companies plan to roll it out across the entire FRL store chain.
At present, FRL operates over 1,500 stores across various brands, including Big Bazaar, its flagship chain, and other smaller neighbourhood chains such as EasyDay and Heritage Fresh.
“FRL’s national footprint of stores offering thousands of products across fashion, appliances, home, kitchen and grocery, will now be available to millions of customers shopping on Amazon.in, in hours across 25-plus cities," said Amit Agarwal, senior vice-president and country head, Amazon India.
In a separate agreement, Future Consumer Ltd (FCL) said Amazon Retail India Pvt. Ltd (ARIP) will distribute FCL’s portfolio of brands online.
Future Consumer has brands and products in multiple categories in food, home care, and personal and beauty care. At present, FCL’s products are available offline through Future Retail stores. Through this agreement, Future Consumer will build an online channel and offer its brands to millions of Amazon’s customers, the statement said.
“The collaboration with Amazon will expand the reach of our brands to new sets of customers on Amazon India’s online marketplace. We will be working closely with Amazon to develop marketing and promotion initiatives and look forward to using its technical expertise and resources to increase the reach of our brands," said FCL MD Ashni Biyani.
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