Tuesday, April 13, 2021
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Coronavirus Lockdown: Flipkart to resume delivery of food items and essential products, Big Basket to start operating in few cities

Amidst the ongoing lockdown, people are now largely depending on the e-commerce sites to buy household goods, food and medicine

E-commerce giant Walmart Inc’s Flipkart will resume delivery of food and essential services partially after getting a nod from the federal and state governments, while online grocery store Big Basket has started operating in ten cities, while they are in the process of getting approval of resume operations in nine other cities. Both the e-retail companies had to stop operations due to Nationwide Lockdown announced by PM Narendra Modi to combat the Wuhan Coronavirus pandemic.

Kalyan Krishnamurthy, CEO, Flipkart Group tweeted after receiving assurances on the safety of its delivery staff and a hassle-free supply chain by the government: “We are grateful for the clarification provided by the government and local state authorities on the functioning of e-commerce during the lockdown. We are resuming our grocery services today. India, we are committed to serving you at this time. Thank you for your trust”.

Earlier in the day, Bengaluru-based Flipkart had temporarily suspended all shopping on its website and its mobile app early on Wednesday. Flipkart has marked all products as ‘Out Of Stock’ on the search option of its app and website.

“Your needs have always been our priority, and our promise is that we will be back to serve you, as soon as possible,” a message reads on the Flipkart’s website.

Online grocery store Big Basket has announced that they will be resuming services in some cities. The company’s operations had to be stopped due to lack of clarification over the nature of its business, as police were not allowing movement its personnel and vehicles, despite the Ministry Home Affairs exempting grocery stores from the lockdown. The company informed on Twitter today that it has been able to list its service as essential service in Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Bhopal, Coimbatore, Indore, Mumbai, Mysore, Noida, Surat and Vadodara, and have started operating in these cities. Although the company is booked for 4-5 days due to huge demand.

The company will not be operating in Ghaziabad, Gurgaon, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kolkata, Lucknow, Nagpur, Patna and Vijaywada for next few days, as they are unable to get classified as essential services in those places, although they said that they are in the process of acquiring the classification, and hope to resume operations soon in these cities. Big Basket said that they are not operating in Chandigarh, Chennai, Delhi, Ludhiana, Pune and Vizag, and don’t know whether they will be able to start, as they have not been able to get the necessary help from authorities. The company said that they will not operate in Kochi due to operational issues.

Amidst the ongoing lockdown, people are now largely depending on the e-commerce sites to buy household goods, food and medicine, but delivery hazards and overbooking has led these sites facing difficulties in reaching out to its customers.

Amazon.com announced on Tuesday that it was limiting its services to the sale and delivery of essential products. On Wednesday, its Pantry grocery service was unavailable in several cities and orders for most other food or household items showed delivery dates stretching well beyond the first week of April.

Meanwhile, healthcare platform Medlife and Alibaba-backed online grocer BigBasket was among those that encountered delivery difficulties after the national lockdown.

We are working with the local authorities for the passes and permits that allow movement of personnel and vehicles,” BigBasket said in a statement.

The company also said it was booked for the next seven days in almost all the cities in which it operates.

Albinder Dhindsa, CEO of SoftBank-backed Grofers, said the online grocer had a backlog of about 400,000 orders owing to “hiccups in our operations” over the past few days.

The Coronavirus pandemic has effected people physically as well as mentally all across the globe. Prime Minister Modi announced a 21-day nation-wide lockdown on the 24th of March to halt the spread of the coronavirus outbreak. All the states are strictly complying with the lockdown orders.

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