Soon you may be able to walk into an Amazon store in your neighbourhood and buy food items. The online e-commerce giant has reportedly sought permission from the Indian government to open food-only outlets combined with an online platform to sell locally produced food items, reports Economic Times
If things work out for Amazon, India could be the second country to boast of physical stores by Amazon after the United States.
Amazon Corporate Holding, the Singapore-based firm, will hold 99 percent of the proposed entity with the rest owned by Amazon.com, Mauritius. The subsidiary -- Amazon Corporate -- is planning to invest Rs 3,500 crore over a period of next five years.
The stores will look to sell local produces and packaged food products which may be third-party products or will belong to its own private label.
The company opened its first physical store in the US, a bookstore in Seattle, followed by similar stores in Portland and San Diego. Currently, the company owns eight bookstores in the US and will soon unveil its ninth bookstore in Bay Area of San Fransisco.
With a 27 percent rise in net sales, at USD 136 billion in 2016, Amazon is all set to open its first grocery store in Seattle. Branded Amazon Go, the store will provide a checkout-free experience to customers with the use of technology.
Amazon’s decision to open a physical store comes on the heels of government carving out a legislation back in June, which allowed food-only retailing segment, allowing 100 USD FDI for companies selling food items produced or sourced locally.
Amazon’s application saved the government from being left red-faced after its campaign to attract global retailers and manufacturers saw no takers. Global big-wigs like Walmart cold-shouldered India and told the government it will not make any business sense to deal in food articles which earn the company paper-thin margins.