Amazon India on Monday said it has entered into long-term business agreements with Future Group to expand the reach of the latter's retail stores and consumer brands through its online marketplace.
The development comes after Amazon agreed to buy 49 percent stake in Future Coupons Ltd that in turn holds a stake in Future Retail Ltd (FRL) last year.
"FRL and Amazon India signed two agreements focusing on key categories – grocery and general merchandise, and fashion and footwear," according to a statement.
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Amazon India will also become the authorised online sales channel for FRL stores, and FRL will ensure participation of its relevant stores and programmes on the Amazon India marketplace, it added.
Besides, Future Consumer Ltd (FCL) has also inked a long-term agreement with Amazon Retail India Pvt Ltd (ARIPL) for distribution of Future Consumer's portfolio of brands online. Some of FCL brands include Tasty Treat, Voom, Dreamery, Karmiq, Mother Earth, Kara, CleanMate, and others.
As part of the partnership, FRL will augment existing store-infrastructure at its retail outlets for facilitating seamless packaging and pickup of products ordered online. FRL and Amazon India have already launched this service across 22 stores. Both companies plan on rolling this out across the entire FRL store chain based on agreed timelines.
"FRL will leverage its existing infrastructure, strong product knowledge, and extensive brand portfolio resulting in higher store productivity and improved margins," as per the statement.
Currently, FRL attracts over 350 million footfalls across its retail network, and Amazon India's marketplace will enable FRL to reach a wider customer base.
Also, FRL will list on the Amazon Prime Now programme, allowing customers to get food, grocery, and general merchandise delivery within two hours in Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, and Hyderabad.
FRL plans to soon list stores like Big Bazaar, and Foodhall in more cities on the Amazon India marketplace.
"In order to drive efficiencies, the two organisations will work closely through a dedicated team, and will explore synergies in distribution, customer acquisition, and marketing initiatives. This creates an enviable collaboration bringing together the best of consumer insights and geographical reach from the online and offline world," the statement said.
Kishore Biyani, Chairman and Managing Director of FRL, said, "This arrangement will allow us to build upon each other's strengths in the physical and digital space so that customers benefit from the best services, products, assortment and price".
"FRL's national footprint of stores offering thousands of products across fashion, appliances, home, kitchen and grocery will now be available to millions of customers shopping on Amazon.in, in hours across over 25 cities," Amazon India Senior Vice President and Country Head Amit Agarwal said.
On the FCL-ARIPL partnership, Future Consumer Ltd Managing Director Ashni Biyani said the collaboration will expand the reach of its brands to new sets of customers on Amazon India's online marketplace.
"We will be working closely with Amazon to develop marketing and promotion initiatives and look forward to using Amazon's technical expertise and resources to increase the reach of our brands. Our distinct portfolio of brands catering to aspirational categories will be an excellent addition to Amazon's offerings. Hence, we believe this is a win-win agreement, Ashni Biyani added.
FCL brands are currently available across multiple channels including general trade, digital platforms and modern retail apart from over 1,700 stores across Future Group's retail chains including Big Bazaar, EasyDay, Heritage Fresh, Nilgiris, WH Smith and among others.
"Currently, Future Consumer has a largely offline presence. Through this agreement, Future Consumer will build an online channel and offer Future Consumer's brands to millions of Amazon's customers," the company said.
(Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta)