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Big Bazaar's Marketing Blitz Targets Amazon; Boosts Two-Hour Delivery Across India

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Big Bazaar, the brick-and-mortar superstore chain owned by Future Group, is preparing to launch a marketing blitz that will possibly take potshots at US etailer Amazon, which is ramping up its two-hour home delivery across India during the pandemic.

Although Amazon has been running an advertisement campaign with the tagline ‘India ki Apni Dukaan’ (India's own shop) since 2016, Big Bazaar's tagline will now read ‘India ki Asli Dukan’ (India's original shop), according to people familiar with the development.

Big Bazaar's move comes as the debt-ridden Future Group considers how to best utilize its assets while its Rs.24,700 crore proposed deal with Reliance Industries (RIL) hangs in the balance.

RIL revealed in August last year that it will acquire Future Group's retail and wholesale businesses, but Amazon, which owns a minority stake in an unlisted Future Group firm sued the Mumbai-based retailer, claiming that the proposed transaction violated contractual agreements.

“Our store employees are now serving as distribution executives. We've partnered with hyperlocal delivery companies as well. The average ticket size for essentials for this service is around Rs 1,500, which is significantly higher than that of online-only players in the space. At the moment, there is no other player who can deliver in under two hours", said a Future Group senior executive.

Big Bazaar had previously announced plans to launch a two-hour home delivery service in the country's top three cities namely Mumbai, Bengaluru, and the National Capital Region, as it steps up its efforts to tap into the rapidly rising online retail market.

Consumers in the three cities, which each have more than 55 Big Bazaar stores, will allow consumers to use the Big Bazaar mobile app, web portal, and even in-store orders to place orders for apparel, food, FMCG, kitchen utilities, toys, luggage, and home items and receive fast home deliveries.

Future Group will become the first multi-channel retailer in the country with full digital capabilities as a result of this launch, according to Kishore Biyani, founder and group CEO of Future Group. As covid accelerates customer adoption of e-commerce, Big Bazaar will be pitted against competitors such as Amazon, Big Basket, Grofers, and DMart, which have been pursuing shorter delivery times and discounts on assortments.

Big Bazaar launched its e-commerce operations in May last year, with mixed results. Since it refused to pay suppliers on time, the chain was unable to keep its stores well-stocked. However, the stores are now better stocked thanks to JioMart's addition as a vendor for Future Group.

“Our store employees are now serving as distribution executives. We've partnered with hyperlocal delivery companies as well. The average ticket size for essentials for this service is around Rs 1,500, which is significantly higher than that of online-only players in the space. At the moment, there is no other player who can deliver in under two hours", said a Future Group senior executive.

“Aside from the ‘Asli Dukan' moniker, we've used words like Amazing Service, Amazing Prices, Amazing Products, and Amazing Deals to play on the word Amazing”, said the executive.

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