If someone had told you this in 2020 - Reliance Industries, India's largest conglomerate, and Amazon, one amongst the world's most respected firms, would be locked in an exceedingly very public and ugly legal battle, would you've got imagined it might be over groceries? Come on, be honest because of the pandemic, the $460 billion grocery retail market is where all the action is true now. Even the Tata Group, which runs the struggling Star supermarket chain, wants a much bigger piece of it. The steel-to-software conglomerate is reportedly in advanced talks to shop for ~80% of the country's E-grocer unicorn Big Basket for around $1.3 billion.
India's online grocery market should be nascent, but competition is growing fiercer day by day. Earlier this year during the lockdown, scores of Indians ordered groceries online for the primary time and they are continuing to try and do so even after the restrictions are lifted. Big Basket saw an 84% jump within the number of latest customers and 50% higher retention rates over pre-Covid-19 levels, 64% of the folks that shopped on rival Grofers since the lockdown were first-time customers. It's not just the multinational conglomerates and well-funded startups. Even India’s Kiranas—the mom-and-pop stores—are within the mix.
Reliance Retail plans to tap into this seven million-strong network of neighborhood stores to deliver your onions, rice, and sugar. If Reliance has its way, you may even find yourself placing and tracking orders via WhatsApp. 2020 was a year during which anyone and everybody wanted to try to to online grocery retail, the approaching year will see of these different players wading into each other’s territory as expected.
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Why shopping malls must die to survive?
Epic Games, best called the developer of megahit game Fortnite, recently revealed that its new global headquarters are going to be a mall. Specifically, the corporate is buying a 980,000-square-foot mall in its hometown of Cary, North Carolina, with plans to convert it into “offices and recreation space,” the Wall Street Journal reported on. That looks like a fable invented let's say the economic shift from the physical to the digital or even it just seems like a joke at the expense of mall Cops and Orange Julius employees across the US. But actually, it’s welcome news — and hopefully, it’s an indication of things to return. Malls were drastically overbuilt even before Covid-19 surfaced, but the pandemic dealt a body blow to the world. The wave of retail closures forced some mall landlords to declare bankruptcy and underscored the declining prospects of weaker, aging shopping centers with less-convenient locations, second-tier tenants, and few amenities. By some estimates, a whopping 25% of all malls operating today could fail. that the time has come for a boom in former malls.
While the Epic Games news represents an exceptionally creative mall repurposing, that ought to be processed as inspiration, not limitation. The pandemic actually accelerated ongoing retail-reuse strategies, like “dark stores” — basically converting brick-and-mortar space into e-commerce fulfillment centers. Chains like Whole Foods and Bed Bath & Beyond have experimented with the strategy, and Amazon was rumored to be weighing a deal to convert flailing JCPenney locations into distribution centers. Other experiments in mall conversion have cropped up in recent years, including the conversion of a part of Alderwood Mall in Lynnwood, Washington, into apartments, and a part of Landmark Mall in Washington, D.C., into a homeless shelter. More recently, health care organizations across the country have reportedly begun converting defunct mall-stalwart Sears stores into vaccination centers.