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BENGALURU: E-commerce major Amazon India on Thursday said it will expand its storage capacity by more than 43 million cubic feet across 15 states to support its 8.5 lakh sellers across the country.

This will translate into the launch of 11 new fulfilment centres and expansion of 9 existing ones across Maharashtra, Bihar, Gujarat, Assam, Rajasthan, among others. Over the last year alone, Amazon has increased its storage capacity by 40% in the country, it said in a statement.

With this expansion, Amazon India will now have more than 60 fulfilment centers and more than 25 specialized sites dedicated to Amazon Fresh selection for daily essentials and groceries, across India.

“With the increased storage capacity of 43 million cubic feet, we will continue to seamlessly cater to the growing demand of our customers, while offering a better experience with a wider selection and faster delivery. This expansion will also provide a fillip to the ancillary businesses who support us including those involved in packaging, logistics, and transportation, amongst others," said Akhil Saxena, vice president, customer fulfilment operations, Asia Pacific, Middle East and North Africa and Latin America, Amazon.

Some of these new fulfilment centres are expected to be operational ahead of its flagship sale event in India -- Prime Day 2021 -- to be held towards July-end.

The expansion is also in line with the upcoming festive season, which contributes to a large bulk of e-commerce sales in the country. Amazon India said all its new fulfilment centers will be operational before the festive period sales.

“E-commerce has played a crucial role throughout the pandemic by supporting people, small businesses, and creating thousands of local job opportunities. I am happy to see the focussed investments by Amazon across Indian states in building and scaling the state-of-the-art infrastructure. This will play a critical role in supporting MSMEs jump-start from the economic disruptions of COVID-19 pandemic and accelerate their journey towards being digital entrepreneurs," said Amitabh Kant, chief executive officer, Niti Aayog.

When using Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA), sellers across India send their products to Amazon’s fulfilment centres and once an order is placed, Amazon picks, packs and ships the order to the customer, while managing returns on behalf of the sellers.

The retailer has on-boarded more than 300,000 of the 850,000 sellers listed on its platform since January 2020, Amazon India vice president Manish Tiwary told Mint recently in an interaction.

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