During the first phase of Covid-induced lockdown in 2020, Zomato had started delivering groceries as the restaurants were shut. But as soon as the lockdown was lifted, Zomato had resumed delivering food. However, the food-deliver giant now plans to start online delivery of groceries all over again. Zomato had announced its plans of venturing into grocery delivery ahead of the launch of its initial public offering (IPO) that will be out on July 14.
"Last year, when we did grocery, it was a need of the hour for our customers. People were not using food delivery and needed grocery in their homes to be able to cook all the food at home. And we, because of our network, enabled that quickly to serve our customers. Now, we'll be coming back to see, as an attempt of experimenting to see how we can build this hyper-local part of the business," Zomato co-founder Gaurav Gupta had said during a virtual conference.
Zomato had started grocery delivery in 80 cities in the first phase of lockdown in April last year. However, as soon as things returned to normalcy, Zomato had shut its grocery delivery services. The service will be available through the Zomato app.
To begin grocery delivery services again, Zomato has acquired a 9.3 per cent stake in the online grocery delivery platform Grofers.
"We are actively experimenting in this space and recently invested $100 million for a minority stake in Grofers with the idea of getting more exposure to that space. We are in the process of rolling out a grocery delivery marketplace on our platform on a pilot basis," he added," Gupta was quoted by the company as saying.
Zomato had earlier partnered with Vishal Mega Mart and other FMCG to deliver groceries. The customers were only allowed to order up to 12kgs at a time. Orders more than 12kgs were not accepted. Zomato also had a two-hour grocery delivery policy.
Currently, there are apps like Bigbasket, Grofers and even Swiggy that deliver grocery items to your doorstep. The Covid-19 times have forced people to rely more on online grocery delivery services as it is comparatively safer than stepping out to get groceries from the jam-packed stores. Apart from the usual grocery apps, there is Amazon Pantry and Flipkart that deliver grocery items but same-day delivery is not available in any of these apps.
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