Companies

Choice of the mall and convenience of the neighbourhood store

Bindu D. Menon New Delhi | Updated on June 24, 2011

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Hate weekend crowds at malls but still have to do grocery shopping?

Relief may be at hand. Aaramshop, a hybrid retail platform, promises home delivery by partnering with kiranawalas, or mom-and-pop stores, to deliver items of day-to-day use at the click of a button.

“Our research indicates that at least 25 per cent of the people in metros have moved away from kirana stores to large formats. Yet, it is the traditional retailer who has the reach and access to customers though not the sophistication of big box retailers. With this initiative, we are trying to build a network of kirana stores that will help consumers shop from the comfort of their home,” Mr Vijay Singh, Managing Director and CEO, Aaramshop, told Business Line.

Explaining Aaramshop's business model, he said customers can log on to the portal via their Facebook accounts. They can order products, choose from a list the nearest kirana store, and, most important, set the time of delivery. The kiranawala is informed of the order and he delivers the products. “In our business model, the customer, essentially the mall frequenter, doesn't have to share credit or debit card details but pay cash-on-delivery to the kirana shop-owner. Our aim is to transform the current consumer behaviour of casual Web browsing to an engaging behaviour of brand purchase,” he added

Independent retail stores or kiranas control about 95 per cent of the domestic FMCG sales.

The company said it went live last week with pilots in Delhi. “We are in about 35 locations in Delhi-NCR to begin with. By the end of this fiscal, we hope to be in at least top 12 cities and will cover all major kirana outlets in these cities.” He said kirana stores can join the portal for free and create a presence. “Our revenue will come largely from advertisements on the platform and also by providing counter analysis to leading players.”

According to industry estimates, e-commerce industry in India is expected to grow 47 per cent to touch Rs 46,000 crore in 2011. E-retail is likely to contribute about 6 per cent (Rs 2,700 crore by the end of 2011) to the overall e-commerce market.

Published on June 16, 2011

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