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Walmart's Flipkart Partners With Indian Startup To Foray Into Alcohol Delivery: Reports

Walmart's Flipkart Partners With Indian Startup To Foray Into Alcohol Delivery: Reports
Flipkart, Walmart’s e-commerce platform in India will now deliver alcohol to customers. The major rival of Amazon in the Indian market, Flipkart has reportedly already struck a partnership for the deliveries with a startup that has the backing of spirits giant Diageo and deliveries will initially be done in two states in India.
It was a few months ago that Amazon too had planned a similar delivery service.
According to estimates by IWSR Drinks Market Analysis, the total worth of the Indian alcohol market $27.2 billion annually and analysts see this move by both Flipkart and Amazon to venture in the delivery of alcohol in the Indian market as a bold move that could help the e-commerce platforms to make some inroads into the lucrative alcohol market of the country.
Flipkart can get itself associated as a technology service provider for the an Indian alcohol home delivery mobile application HipBar, supported by Diageo, said the local governments of two Indian eastern states West Bengal and Odisha.
Customers of Flipkart will be able to get access to HipBar’s application form the e-commerce giant’s platforms, claimed reports that were based on company letters. 
According to the reports, under the arrangement with HipBar, customers of FLipkart will be able to place orders for their favourite booze on the HipBar app. The order would then be collected by HipBar from retail outlets and delivered to the Flipkart customers.
Diageo India owns 26 per cent stake in HipBar.
No comments on the reports were available from HipBar and Flipkart.
There were reports in India in June this year about the plans of Amazon to delivery alcohol to its customers and that the e-commerce giant had secured necessary clearance for delivering alcohol to customers in West Bengal. That was a clear signal of the intention of the e-commerce giant to venture into the alcohol delivery business in India.
“Flipkart wants to make sure that whatever consumers want, they get it. The margins (on liquor deliveries) maybe low, but for Flipkart it is about stickiness so consumer don’t have to anywhere else,” said a report quoting a source close to Flipkart.
With a population of more than 90 million people, West Bengal is the fourth most populous state in India. Odisha on the other had has a population of about 41 million. Retail sale of alcohol is prohibited in a few states in India such as the Western Indian state of Gujarat.
Delivery of alcohol in some cities have also been started by the top two food delivery startup apps in India - Swiggy and Zomato, with companies hoping to take advantage of an increase in demand for booze by people who are stuck at homes with the novel cornavirus pandemic still on the rise in many parts of India.
Announcement of the beginning of an online pharmacy in India that will serve the southern city of Bengaluru was also made by Amazon on Friday. 
Online shopping for a vast range of products is a fast growing trend among Indian consumers s they flock to online platforms for everything from groceries to electronics  - particularly during the pandemic.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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