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    Covid-19: Amazon, Flipkart, others look to deliver the goods

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    • Some state governments and local authorities have since then sprung into action acted swiftly to remove the roadblocks, but not all.
    • Flipkart, Amazon and Snapdeal said they will accord priority to delivering essential items.
    • They said non-essential orders are expected to be fulfilled only after April 15.
    Ecommerce marketplaces Flipkart, Amazon and Snapdeal said they will accord priority to delivering essential items. They said non-essential orders are expected to be fulfilled only after April 15.
    BENGALURU: Ecommerce companies, including BigBasket, Grofers, Amazon and Flipkart, continue to run restricted services across cities as they work with local authorities to streamline operations. While several of these etailers expect to resume delivery of groceries and essentials in a few days, they face a challenge of getting frontline workers back to their warehouses and on to the streets, multiple industry executives told ET.

    “We were not able to resume services at a lot of places but were able to meet with authorities and should be able to resolve all the on-ground issues by Thursday so that we are live in most of the cities before the weekend,” said Albinder Dhindsa, cofounder and CEO of Grofers.

    Dhindsa said Delhi NCR and Bangalore are expected to get back to normal in a day or two, while Kolkata and Hyderabad are also likely to be operational soon.

    Deliveries for online retailers had come to a halt over the last three days as fulfilment centres were closed, on-ground staff and delivery personnel were not able to move on the roads, and trucks carrying supplies across state borders were pulled up.

    Some state governments and local authorities have since then sprung into action acted swiftly to remove the roadblocks, but not all. “We have been assured of the safe and smooth passage of our supply chain and delivery executives by local law enforcement authorities and are resuming our grocery and essentials services later today (Wednesday)," said Kalyan Krishnamurthy, CEO, Flipkart Group.

    Supported by the central and state governments, as well as local police, supply has resumed and the situation will get better in two to three days, a senior executive of a leading ecommerce company said, without going on record.

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    Ecommerce marketplaces Flipkart, Amazon and Snapdeal said they will accord priority to delivering essential items. They said non-essential orders are expected to be fulfilled only after April 15.

    “We will prioritise processing of essentials, like orders relating to personal and home hygiene, safety, among others. We will continue to accept other orders too and will inform buyers that these will be delivered once movement restrictions are lifted,” a spokesperson for Snapdeal said.

    Flipkart expected orders in Bengaluru to restart by Wednesday evening, followed by Delhi NCR on Thursday. A senior Flipkart executive told ET that it was in talks with local authorities in Mumbai, Chennai and Hyderabad to kickstart delivery of groceries through its Supermart, over the next few days.

    Further, ecommerce companies await clarity from government agencies on what goods are termed essentials, as they look to service a larger variety than just “food, pharmaceuticals and medical devices” that the Ministry of Home Affairs had allowed in its March 24 order.
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    4 Comments on this Story

    Nandi206 days ago
    All of my Amazon orders have been cancelled as of today March 31, these items were in transit and all were food and I face mask order. So news reports can say this and that but I can tell you I am very disappointed.
    R Sridhar210 days ago
    e-com companies are doing a good job. Please ensure that your delivery boys frequently use hand sanitisers, take extra care for personal hygiene and look smart and elegant as well. This is extremely important in everybody's interest as people may not accept delivery and place orders. It is even worth highlighting this on media so that people will trust you in this extra-ordinary times.
    Brajesh Singh211 days ago
    thanks for supporting at this time
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