E-commerce export procedure through India Post to be simplified

With rising e-commerce exports, the government is now planning India Post to become a major intermediary in the space for outbound shipments. For this, the customs department will be simplifying procedures. The e-commerce exports facility through Foreign Post Offices (FPOs) is available since 2016 under Merchandise Export from India Scheme (MEIS) incentives from post offices at three locations – Chennai, Mumbai and Delhi. “Now, customs may be leading the reform race by permitting e-commerce exports through all FPOs, though without MEIS benefits for now,” a recent Finance Ministry statement said.…

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Flipkart goes to Walmart, stage set for battle royale

Ritwik Sinha After several weeks of intense speculations, world’s largest retail chain Walmart on wedenesday finally confirmed buying out India’s largest e-commerce player Flipkart. Walmart is buying a commanding 77 percent stake in Flipkart doling out a staggering $16 billion which makes it the largest buyout in the e-commerce space in the world. With this deal, the valuation of Flipkart has shot up to $21 billion. Flipkart is estimated to have a commanding 40 percent share in the Indian e-commerce market which is considered to be one of the fastest…

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Shoppers Stop to expand its outlet network in 2018

Country’s leading retail chain Shoppers Stop has planned to expand its outlet network in the country this year. According to a recent report in a leading national daily, the company is all set to invest Rs 120 crore this year in opening new stores as well as renovation of some of the existing outlets. “On an average, we will invest Rs 120 crore to open five department stores and 12 beauty stores in the beauty format this year,” Govind Shrikhande, managing director and customer care associate of Shoppers Stop has been…

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Losses mounting but Amazon’s India focus to stay intact

Global e-commerce giant Amazon has maintained that despite mounting losses in its international operations, there would be no let up in its India centric focus. In a recently held investors call, a top executive of the company strongly underlined that Amazon would continue to invest in India. “We will continue to invest in India where we are seeing great progress with both sellers and customers. And we like the momentum we have seen there,” Amazon Senior VP & CFO Brian Olsavsky told the investors. The global e-tailing major has reported a loss of…

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Shopclues reports considerable reduction in losses

Domestic e-commerce major, Shopclues which is known for its focus on non-metro circles in the country, has reported a considerable drop in its losses in the financial year ending March 2018. The company has reported a loss of Rs 208 at the end of the last month as against Rs 333 crore in 2016-17. At the same time, the company has reported a jump of 45 percent in its revenue – Rs 275 crore in 2017-18 as against Rs 189 crore earning in the previous fiscal. The company has primarily…

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Myntra acquires smart wearable start-up

Myntra has acquired Witworks, a Bangalore based technology start-up, focussed on producing smart wearable devices and their underlying software. As part of the acquisition, Myntra has inducted the team into its Innovation Labs; further strengthening the company’s robust technology team and augmenting its product development capabilities. Witworks Consumer Technologies was founded in 2014 by Somnath Meher, Ankit DP and Chandrashekhar Iyer, alumni of IIT-Kharagpur. It launched its flagship wearable device, the Blink Watch in 2016, which operates on their voice-based platform, Marvin OS. This acquisition will enable Myntra to develop wearable products for their in…

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IKEA commits Rs 3000 crore investment in Gujarat

Global home furnishings giant IKEA has inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Gujarat government which entails an investment of Rs 3000 crore in the long term to set up large format retail stores in the state. In 2013, the Swedish firm had proposed to invest over Rs 10,000 crore in the Indian market and as part of the exercise it has already signed MoUs with Karnataka, Telangana, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana to open retail stores. The company is planning to have a network of 25 stores by 2025…

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Inter-ministerial group to examine e-commerce issues

The government has set up an inter-ministerial group which will examine issues faced by all stakeholders in the e-commerce value chain. This was confirmed by a top official of the Commerce Ministry in Hyderabad recently. “This is little premature to say right now. What we have set up is an inter-ministerial group to discuss the issues relating to e-commerce,” Union Commerce Secretary Rita Teaotia said at a press meet. “What are the possible key areas, where we want the government to grapple with the policy framework. A lot of ministries…

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Customer expectations transforming retail landscape

According to the tenth annual shopper study of Zebra Technologies which was unveiled recently, “ heightened customer expectations for delivery are transforming the retail landscape. 69 percent of shoppers in APAC (vs 66% globally) expect next-day or same-day delivery and 37 percent prefer same-day or sooner.” The report clearly underlines the factors which could be major turn off points for the buyers. “Consumers cite out-of-stock merchandise, difficulty finding an item, and unclear pricing and discounting as the leading causes of in-store shopping dissatisfaction,” it said. The study showed that retailers…

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Mrida launches “Earthspired”range of multi-grain flours

Mrida, through its FMCG brand “Earthspired”, has launched a range of healthy multi-grain millet and amaranth based flours, to suit every taste, every requirement. Earthspired represents a healthy, wholesome and ‘straight from rural India’ business. Understanding the need for healthy flour choices without fortificants, a range of flour mixes comprising “Nutri-cereals” (also referred as wonder seeds) has been formulated to give more nutritious and healthy blends, along with good taste and convenience of preparation and use. The Earthspired range, through its “More Millets More Health” value proposition, provides wholesome nutrition fulfilling…

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