Reliance Retail is set to kick off an online price war this festive season as ecommerce unit JioMart forays into fashion, smartphones and consumer electronics, expanding its presence beyond grocery, said people with knowledge of the matter. Pricing will be lower than Amazon and Walmart-owned Flipkart in most cases, they said.
The deep discounting play will largely be on private and exclusive brands such as its own fashion labels, apart from electronic goods from BPL, Kelvinator, Sharp and others. Prices will be lower for mainstream electronic and smartphone brands too, they added. Companies like Apple and Samsung have said in the past that they do not control pricing on any channel as per Indian laws.
More categories likely next month
Reliance didn’t respond to queries.
Having just raised Rs 13,000 crore for its retail business, Reliance aims to launch these categories in most cities where it has a store presence by next month and run big festive online discounting sales similar to Flipkart’s Big Billion Days and Amazon’s Great Indian Festival sales from Navratri till Diwali – the biggest ecommerce business period of the year, said the people cited above. This spans the month between mid-October and mid-November.
JioMart has started a pilot in Bengaluru through its value fashion store chain Reliance Trends. Reliance Retail will fulfil all JioMart orders from its network of over 11,800 stores, delivering in three hours to a day in most cases, said the people cited.
JioMart has also launched subscription-based morning delivery of milk and bread in Bengaluru and Chennai, a segment that will pit it against BigBasket’s BB Daily and others. JioMart’s prices for grocery, fashion, smartphone, refrigerator, television and air-conditioners will be among the lowest in the industry, said the people cited above.
A senior industry executive said the goal is to win a large share of total sales this festive season and win over customers loyal to rivals. Another executive said while fashion and grocery sales will span the country, all efforts are being made to launch smartphones and electronics in some of the larger markets, including state capitals. Backend work is happening at an accelerated pace, he said.