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Flipkart tests online grocery service Supermart with soft launch in Bangalore

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In what can be seen as a step up in its game against Amazon, homegrown online retailer Flipkart on Monday rolled out its online grocery service, Supermart, on its mobile application to a selected set of customers in Bengaluru.
Interestingly, the first set of customers are Flipkart’s employees only who are required to order for a minimum of Rs 500. For orders over Rs 1000, Flipkart is offering free delivery, as per a report in The Economic Times.
This will be the second attempt into the grocery segment for the Bengaluru-based firm. In October 2015, Flipkart had launched a separate groceries ordering app called Nearby for delivering fruits, vegetables, soaps and other staples from supermarkets to customers. However, following a weak response, Flipkart closed the business a few months later.
Flipkart’s rival Amazon India has launched its grocery ordering app, Amazon Now last year. The app is now available in four Indian cities including Bengaluru, Delhi-NCR and Mumbai. Amazon plans to invest around US $500 million in e-retail of food products in India.
As per reports, Flipkart is building a dedicated supply chain for its grocery service Supermart.
To further lure consumers, the company is experimenting with options such as ‘open-box delivery’ to verify products before acceptance and ‘doorstep returns’ if the customer faces any issue with the product.
The online food and grocery segment also includes players like BigBasket and Grofers, who are also looking at expanding their operations.
As per industry reports, the online F&G delivery market is estimated to be around US $600 million in India and pegged to touch US $5 billion by 2020.

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