Companies join hands to deliver groceries to customers’ doors

Kolkata |Mumbai: Several food delivery services, cab and bike taxi aggregators, and non-essential ecommerce firms are joining hands with retail chains and online grocers to supply groceries to consumers stuck at home because of the lockdown.

Uber, Domino’s Pizza, Rapido, Zypp, Swiggy, Zomato and Scootsy have all ventured into grocery delivery in partnerships with retail chains such as Big Bazaar, Spencer’s Retail and Nature’s Basket, and online grocers BigBasket and Grofers that are grappling with a massive shortage of employees due to flight of several migrant workers to their hometowns.

Some of these firms are in advanced level discussions with the country’s largest online marketplaces Amazon and Flipkart, too, industry executives said.

Uber has forged partnerships with Spencer’s Retail and Big Basket, while it is in advanced talks with Flipkart, Amazon and Big Bazaar, industry executives said.

“In these times we need to create an ecosystem and partnership, and convert store into a platform to enable more deliveries in a day to our consumers via our ecommerce and phone delivery orders,” said Devendra Chawla, managing director of Spencer’s Retail and Nature’s Basket. Spencer’s and Nature’s Basket are also in partnership with bike taxi aggregator Rapido and delivery service Scootsy.

Even restaurant lobby National Restaurant Association of India has associated with Pharmeasy, BigBasket and few retailers for temporary employment of restaurant staff, executives said.

Zomato has tied up with Grofers, while Domino’s has partnered ITC to deliver essentials through its fleet of delivery personnel, and is in talks with multiple retail chains.

Besides Spencer’s and Nature’s Basket, Rapido has also partnered with Big Basket, Grofers, Big Bazaar and fruits and vegetables supply chain Ninjacart among others, Rapido cofounder Aravind Sanka said. He said around 70% of its fleet of 250,000 drivers are still in the cities, so it can comfortably deliver essentials.

Uber is not charging any commission from its drivers for its new lastmile delivery service, said Prabhjeet Singh, director operations and head of cities, Uber India & South Asia.

(With inputs from Aditi Shrivastava in Bengaluru)

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