Picking up a stake in Future Retail, which runs the Big Bazaar chain, will give Amazon a strong foothold in offline retail.

Amazon set to buy 10 per cent stake in Kishore Biyani-led Future Retail
Atom Retail Thursday, October 18, 2018 - 09:36

If you thought the fight for supremacy in the retail segment in the country climaxed with the acquisition of Flipkart by Walmart, think again. The battle is set to get intense in the offline platform too, with Amazon set to pick up a stake in Kishore Biyani-led Future Retail, which runs Big Bazaar, reports Economic Times.

As of now, the deal covers less than 10% of the stake in the Future Group, but the deal allows Amazon certain concessions it has been desperately looking for in the offline space, making its presence an omni-channel retail behemoth.

It is understood that the price at which the shared are being picked up by Amazon is fairly high, though there is no official confirmation on this so far. But considering that the market value of the Future Group which has mainly the Big Bazaar and Easy Day supermarkets could be as high as Rs 25,000 crore. It is also learnt Biyani has held talks with Paytm-Alibaba, too even as the discussions with Alibaba were on.  

It has to be kept in view that Amazon has already taken an indirect position in the Samara-Aditya Birla deal for the More supermarket chain. Walmart is bound to leverage its offline presence in the country to good effect in expanding the business at Flipkart. And the two US giants may have to contend with India’s largest conglomerate, Reliance, which has its feet firmly on the ground with its retail outlets and aggressively pushing its digital play on the Jio backbone to create its own omni-channel.

One cannot overlook the other key player, Paytm Mall, that has the backing of Alibaba, the Chinese giant with its own plans for the Indian market. Players like BigBasket are recording decent growth numbers to give a fight on certain turfs.

All these developments could script a fascinating story in India’s retail business yet.

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