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Competition Commission approves sale of Aditya Birla’s More supermarket chain to Amazon.

Sale valued at INR42bn (US$588.2m)

The Competition Commission of India has recently allowed the sale of More supermarket chain to proceed. The chain will be sold to Witzig Advisory Services, a joint partnership between Amazon and Samara Capital, for more than INR42bn. Samara Capital, an Indian investment fund, will own 51% of the chain, while Amazon will have a 49% stake of the business.

Although the CCI has approved the deal, Witzig must still ensure that it is compliant to the new Foreign Domestic Investment rules that were announced last month. It remains unclear how Amazon plans to integrate More’s operations into the Amazon India platform.

A possibility is for Amazon to treat the acquisition purely as an investment and to maintain separate operations. If this is chosen, the integration with More supermarket can take place if there are future policy revisions.

The retailer currently has more than 530 supermarkets and 20 hypermarkets spread across India.

Find out more information about More supermarkets here.

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Continued growth for one of India’s largest supermarket operators.

Total revenue increases by 33.2% vs. previous year

Avenue Supermarts Limited, who operates the DMart supermarket chain, reported a strong performance for the quarter ended 31 December 2018. The company’s financial year begins in April and this period is its third quarter.

Sales revenue for the retailer during this quarter was INR 5451 crores (US$770.1m) versus sales of INR 4094 crores (US$578.4m) during the same quarter last year. The company also reported net profit after tax of INR 257.11 crores (US$36.3m), a growth of 2.1% compared to last year.

Price promotions during the festive period affected margins

Though strong top line growth was reported, the retailer attributed the slowdown in its net profits to increased costs. Avenue Supermarts Limited saw its operating expenses grow due to extended opening hours during the festive Diwali period as well as reduced gross margins through price promotions.

The retailer also reported that it has opened four new stores and now operates 164 stores with a total business area of 5.3 million sq ft.

Find out more information about DMart here.

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Grofers, one of the leading online grocers in India, aims to generate $2.5bn in revenue by 2020 and scaling up its private label offerings.

Experiencing fast growth

Speaking to PTI, Grofers' co-founder and CEO Albinder Dhindsa said Grofers has been witnessing over 30 per cent month-on-month growth. "While we do not sell gourmet products that usually offer higher margins, we have been able to create a set of dedicated customers that usually promote our brand as well... We will continue to ramp up our business and we aim to clock $2.5 billion revenue by 2020." Dhindsa said.

Private label a key focus

Dhindsa also said private label products account about 40 per cent of the assortment on the platform.  This has helped Grofers provide products like muesli, peanut butter at more affordable prices, as the online grocer promises "cheaper prices than your local supermarkets".

There are a number of local manufacturers, who have great products but can't compete with the FMCG giants and therefore, their products often don't find shelf space in retail stores... we continue to grow the number of manufacturers that we work with." Dhindsa added.

These products will also be available at Grofers' over 1,500 partner stores. The retailer aims to ramp up its partnering stores to one million in the next two years.

 

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Regulatory guidelines may have significant impact for ecommerce.

Takes effect on 1 February

In a move aimed at promoting fair trade in India, the government has announced a series of regulations for the ecommerce industry. From 1 February 2019, online marketplaces will not be allowed to list exclusive products on its platform. Previously, manufacturers and suppliers would work with Amazon or Flipkart exclusively to launch new products or promotions. This was especially common for smartphones and other consumer electronic items.

The new ruling states that online retailers must provide equal trading terms for all of its vendors and suppliers. Manufacturers and suppliers are now allowed to have a maximum of 25% of total online sales revenue from a single marketplace.

Aimed at helping smaller retailers compete against Flipkart and Amazon

Another new regulation that will be introduced prevents foreign companies from selling its own products directly to shoppers. An example of a product to be impacted by this regulation would be Amazon’s Echo speaker. Under the new rules, this product will not be allowed for sale in the Amazon India site

Deep discounts offered by online retailers have badly affected many smaller businesses, making it difficult for them to compete effectively. By removing these entry barriers, the government hopes to encourage the growth of local mid and small enterprises.

Find out more information about the Indian market here.

 

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This in-depth guide to India explores the key trends in grocery retail and the growth strategies of the leading retailers in the country.

We've developed a single, universal methodology for calculating food and consumer goods retail data, supported by our programme of primary and secondary research. This makes Datacentre the most reliable and robust source available for data of this type. 

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