In August it was reported that the eCommerce giant was in discussions to acquire a stake in Future Retail. At the time, the Indian supermarket firm, which runs over 1,500 stores in India and owns budget department store chain Big Bazaar, was looking for a roughly 20 billion rupee valuation from Amazon for the stake. The value of the deal has not been disclosed, but in a statement on Thursday (November 28), the Competition Commission of India (CCI) said it had approved Amazon’s purchase of a 49 percent stake in Future Coupons, which owns about 7.3 percent of Future Retail. The investment allows Amazon to tap into the increasing demand for household items as well as home-delivered vegetables and produce.
India’s eCommerce market could hit $150 billion by 2022 due to rising incomes and a boost in Internet users. In addition, the number of Internet users will nearly double to 850 million in five years from 450 in 2017, while the growing e-tail market could grow at a compounded rate of 30 percent each year to surpass $60 billion in market size by 2022.
“The next frontier for the battle in the Indian eCommerce industry is set to be fought around a seamless shopping experience, building digital trust, voice-based or conversational commerce and creating an inventory of localized content,” Sandeep Ladda, partner and global technology, media and telecom sector leader at PwC India, said last year.
With that in mind, Amazon has acquiring small stakes in other Indian brick-and-mortar companies, including a grocery chain from the Aditya Birla Group and Shoppers Stop Ltd. The eCommerce retailer has also invested $5.5 billion into its own operations in an effort to take a larger portion of the modern retail market in India.