Amazon.com, India (NASDAQ:AMZN) is leaving no stone unturned to hold up its presence in the grocery and food market, against rival retail strategies.
According to recent reports, the Indian arm of Global retail leviathan, Amazon India is sizing up a stake in Aditya Birla’s retail chain of stores, namely ‘More’.
If reports are to be believed, Amazon, in a close collaboration with Goldman Sachs and homegrown equity fund Samara Capital is up to form a consortium focused on acquiring Aditya Birla Group’s meals and grocery store chain. This acquisition is rumours to done at an enterprise valuation of Rs 4,500-5,000 crore ($750 million – $800 million)
Samara Capital and Aditya Birla Retail Ltd, have signed an “exclusivity” settlement for bilateral negotiations towards the end of June.
A Strategic Consortium:
Amazon has steered clear with a plan of picking up about 49 percent stake from the deal, standing out liberated as the strategic partner. The triad here may even go up to an extent where it establishes a separate company.
If the deal gets the seal of approval, then “More” will be the second brick and mortar retail spaces which will be invested upon by Amazon. Last year Amazon pocketed 5 percent stake in India’s leading departmental store chain “Shoppers Stop” which accounted to Rs. 180 crore. However, it took the whole US grocery and food space into awes and gapes spree after it’s absolutely unplanned and uncalled for the purchase of $13.7 billion of the Whole Foods.
“More” of Amazon: Enough To Counter Walmart?
Although “More” is the fourth-largest supermarket chain operator in India, it has been through a very rough loss-making phase! With its possible takeover by the Seattle-base eCommerce Leviathan, there would be benefits for both the participants.
Amazon’s grocery business presence has been faltering in India. If Walmart’s acquisition of Flipkart wasn’t enough to hit Amazon where it hurts, various policy ambiguities have been a stonewall for Amazon’s plan to expand its business in India. Even after, investing a staggering amount of $500 million in its sales of food products online and offline, the whole food-retailing venture was a non-starter!
Now by taking over “More”, Amazon can strengthen its food and grocery business presence in the food retailing space of India.
If Amazon is successful in slicing and serving itself with a stake from “More”, then the competition in the omni-channel space is only heading towards further augmentation.
Additionally, it’s not just Walmart and Amazon in the incumbent space. The Chinese player, Alibaba has also invested heavily in the Indian Retail Industry and now is seeking to leverage its business by allying with local retail partners.
India as a Promising State
India has been a beseeching aspect for international players with its prediction of attaining the trillion-dollar digital financial system tag by 2022. The Indian retail market – estimated to be value $1.1 trillion by 2020 – continues to bolster its legacy by counting itself as the quickest growing retail markets in the world.
Amazon’s focus on expanding its roots in India with an eCommerce platform continues to stride its momentum and, evidently, has been working in its favour for quite some time now.
Amazon Versus Walmart: Not Dying Out Any Soon!
Seems like the proposed consortium is in order to take down Walmart in India. Funny enough, The fight between Walmart and Amazon — one which accounts for all the rage in the retail industry — only gets piquant from here. Taking a peep into Amazon’s arch-rival, Walmart now boasts of more than 1,400 stores, that too with online grocery pickup. This free service allows customers to order groceries online and the Walmart workers hand it over to them at the curbside of the designated stores. Result – Customers grab their groceries without even leaving their cars! Highly seasoned Result – Happy Customers!
Walmart, as of now, has partnered with numerous in order to potentially compete with its arch-rival Amazon and now Amazon, by laying a plan of acquiring “More”, is sharpening its counter-attack sword payback!
Beyond doubt, the battle lines are now not just between online and offline players. Both the Retail-Giants have been busy in a combat that doesn’t seem like ending any sooner.