Flipkart partners with HipBar to deliver alcohol in West Bengal, Odisha

The development comes after Flipkart’s rival Amazon had in June received approval to deliver liquor in West Bengal.

Walmart-owned Flipkart has partnered with Diageo-backed HipBar to deliver alcohol in West Bengal and Odisha, according to sources. 

The development comes after Flipkart’s rival Amazon had in June received approval to deliver liquor in West Bengal. This is expected to further intensify the competition between the two players that account for a lion’s share of the burgeoning ecommerce market in India.

Flipkart will be a partner of HipBar that allows customers to order alcohol from the latter’s mobile app, according to two people in the know of the development. The persons, who did not wish to be identified, said Flipkart customers will be able to place orders that will be delivered by HipBar. 

Flipkart did not comment on the matter.

HipBar could not be immediately contacted for comments.

Jharkhand was the first state in the country to allow home delivery of liquor by online platforms. Since then, a number of states have allowed the service that has gained prominence after the COVID-19-induced lockdown, as people turned to online channels to buy everything from groceries to medicines.

Both Swiggy and Zomato had started the home delivery of alcohol in the aforementioned states in view of the government's decision to prevent long queues and overcrowding outside wine shops. In May, Delhi saw kilometre-long queues outside liquor stores as the shops had opened weeks after a total lockdown to curb the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the country.

Last month, Mumbai-based Living Liquidz, which has a retail chain selling around 1,000 liquor brands, received the approval from Maharashtra government to deliver alcohol in the city. For that purpose, the company set up a website that only caters to delivery.

Earlier, the Supreme Court dismissed a petition filed by Maharashtra Wine Merchants Association against the home delivery of liquor in Pune and Nasik.

(Disclaimer: Additional background information has been added to this PTI copy for context)

Edited by Kanishk Singh