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Bengaluru: E-commerce major, Flipkart made changes to its Big Billion Days sale dates, and said that it will now be launching its annual sale on October 3 instead of October 7, this year, chief executive officer Kalyan Krishnamurthy told employees on Saturday in an internal memo.

This comes a day after arch-rival Amazon India announced dates of its 2021 festive season sale, the ‘Amazon Great Indian Festival’ starting October 4.

Flipkart will be running its Big Billion Days sale for eight days, instead of six, with the event ending on October 10. However, Amazon hasn’t specified the closing date for the sale.

“Based on consumer behaviours, we have been observing, we know today they are focussed on value and quality, and we are determined to deliver on this front. The Big Billion Days is our commitment to meet these requirements safely and efficiently. There are lakhs of sellers who have joined us on this journey this year, and for many of them, the Big Billion Days is critical as they continue to strive to revitalise their businesses that have been adversely affected by this unprecedented pandemic," said Krishnamurthy.

“Let’s also not forget the scale of employment that this event drives through an extensive supply chain that will help make the festivities a reality for numerous households. To enable this we are going to make some changes to our plans for the Big Billion Days 2021. We are now kick starting this event on October 3 and making it an eight-day event ending on October 10," added Krishnamurthy in the memo to employees.

Mint has seen a copy of the internal memo sent to Flipsters on Saturday.

In preparation for the six-day sale event, Flipkart has been focused on adding new sellers, especially from Tier 2 and 3 cities to increase its geographical footprint.

Flipkart is expected to have 4.2 lakh sellers on its platform by December 2021, the company said.

Currently, the Flipkart Marketplace supports digital commerce for 3.75 lakh sellers. Flipkart has already onboarded 75,000 new sellers on its platform over the last few months, to boost its product catalogue before the annual festive sale event.

Mint had reported earlier that Flipkart has almost doubled its storage, fulfilment and supply chain capacities ahead of the festive season and its flagship Big Billion Days sale.

To boost preparations before the sale, the company has deployed 66 new fulfilment centres spanning 10 million sq. ft.

Flipkart is also expected to have almost 1,00,000 kirana partners live on its platform as it looks to boost its hyperlocal delivery force, during the sale event.

Amazon expects three-quarters of its first-time customers during the sale this year to come from smaller towns, India vice-president Manish Tiwary told Mint recently.

Management consultancy RedSeer Consulting expects overall sales to rise 23% this year to $9 billion from the $7.4 billion registered in total gross merchandise value (GMV) sold on e-commerce platforms during the festive months in 2020.

RedSeer also estimates e-commerce firms will clock sales worth $4.8 billion in the first week of festive sales this year, a 30% increase from 2020.

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