One of the major criticiser of the eCommerce models for selling products beyond its cost price, Kishore Biyani led retail conglomerate Future Group is now seen aggressively stepping into the digital arena by partnering with some leading online firms such as Paytm and Snapdeal.
The company, some time back, had also partnered with Amazon with an intention to tap a larger chunk of rural as well as urban shoppers.
The Mumbai-based retail giant has recently announced that its hypermarket chain, Big Bazaar, had tied up with eCommerce giant Snapdeal. Under the tie-up, Big Bazaar’s 5 days ‘Maha Bachat’ sale, starting from Saturday to Wednesday, would be exclusively available on Snapdeal website. Snapdeal is also holding a discounted ‘Wish for India sale’ separately on its site.
Future Group has also joined forces with mobile payments turned eCommerce platform Paytm, on which Big Bazaar became an anchor store. This allows Paytm users to make online purchases at Big Bazaar.
Commenting on the tie-up, the company said that the partnership leverages the massive reach of Snapdeal and the wide assortment that Big Bazaar offers through its hypermarkets.
On the question of why Big Bazaar chose to go with Snapdeal when it had a tie-up with Paytm, company’s President- Retail Strategy & Convergence, Ranjan Malhotra said that Paytm association is a long-term one deal while Snapdeal tie-up was only for Maha Bachat. Also, the talks with Snapdeal were work-in-progress, which fructified now.
When asked about its tussle with the eCommerce model, Malhotra said that the company is not against e-commerce firms. It is only against heavy subsidising of products to gain market share. It is a great medium to reach a new set of customers and new geographies.
However, Malhotra denied these tie-ups to be an alternate of its omni-channel strategy failure. Many aspects of its omni-channel strategy are operational and some are yet to be operational, he further added.
The company has also acquired online portal Fabfurnish earlier this year. It has plans to integrate the operations of its home products chain, Home Town, with Fabfurnish to compete against its Swedish counterpart IKEA which is all set to launch its retail stores in the country soon.