Flipkart boosts capacity ahead of Big Billion Days

By Tarush Bhalla
Flipkart has also deployed close to 1000 new delivery hubs, managed and owned by it. (REUTERS)

BENGALURU : Flipkart has almost doubled its storage, fulfilment and supply chain capacities ahead of the festive season and its flagship Big Billion Days sale, a top executive told Mint.

The e-commerce company has been ramping up its fulfilment and sorting strength and deployed 66 new fulfilment centres spanning 10 million sq. ft and capable of hosting around 20 million cu. ft of storage space. These centres have been built across 12 states, including Assam, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Haryana and Karnataka.

To enable faster deliveries, Flipkart has also established close to 1,000 new delivery hubs, managed and owned by it across the breadth of the country, and is expected to create 115,000 additional seasonal jobs for the festive sale period starting October.

This is almost 70% higher than the 70,000 seasonal jobs Flipkart created during the festive season last year.

Almost half of these newly-deployed delivery hubs are aimed at increasing the e-tailer’s reach in tier-III and IV cities, while the rest is meant to cater to geographies with heavy order density, including key metros and tier-1 cities. “We have expanded our fulfilment and storage capabilities by 70-100% this year, ahead of the much-awaited Big Billion Days sale. For us, the speed (of delivery) is important, which brings customer delight. Keeping this in focus, we have almost doubled the strength of our supply chain and are piloting alternative models of delivery," Hemant Badri, senior vice-president and head of supply chain at Flipkart, said in an interview.

“E-commerce has been an enabling force, bringing value and access for sellers and consumers alike. Our supply chain infrastructure and technology-enabled digital ecosystem play a key role in enabling numerous possibilities by creating lakhs of new jobs and offering reliable and tech-enabled transformation for traditional warehousing, helping lakhs of local sellers, MSMEs, kiranas, farmers and under-served communities to connect with a national market," said Kalyan Krishnamurthy, chief executive officer, Flipkart Group.

This year, Flipkart doubled its kirana partnerships. Flipkart has ramped up its partnerships from 50,000 kirana partners last sale season to 100,000 now. “Kiranas, in particular, help us form deep connections with their surrounding localities and help us expand at a much faster pace. We have almost doubled our kirana partnerships this year, as they double up as delivery hubs," added Badri.

Flipkart is currently leveraging these neighbourhood stores for local fulfilments to increase operational efficiencies and improve the speed of deliveries.

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