Quick commerce, e-grocery goes into overdrive as pandemic picks up yet again

The pandemic is on the rise again and has resulted in the active spread of a ‘dark mode’ throughout the world, not just in India. A couple of months ago, Grofers rebranded themselves as Blinkit, highlighting their commitment towards faster than ever deliveries of groceries and more. In a candid interview with Logistics Insider, Aditya Dubey (Sr Director Supply Chain, Blinkit) said that the company was aiming to expand their network of micro-warehouses, also known as ‘dark stores’. Since then, Blinkit has added 200 such dark stores to facilitate their USP of 10 minutes delivery and plans to instil 1,000 stores pan-India by March. On the other hand, Reliance Retail-owned MilkBasket is more than doubling its warehousing capacity to almost 350,000 sq ft in the National Capital Region to cater to 150,000 orders a day, double the current order size. Similarly, another player, BigBasket is planning to launch BB Now which will cater to the 10-20 minute delivery segment.

With the Omicron variant now in picture, many brick and mortar stores, including restaurants, are facing the harsh reality of state lockdowns as well as locality wise curfews & restrictions. Amid the uncertainties, online grocery platforms like Blinkit, MilkBasket, BigBasket etc, are taking complete advantage of the situation and working towards expansion to fulfil the growing demand.

“One thing that has changed in this wave is that our pace of expansion has doubled. We will double the number of dark stores to 1,000 by March,” said Rohit Sharma, Head of Supply Chain at Blinkit. Apart from increasing the number of dark stores, Blinkit is also focusing on expanding its territory to cities unexplored yet.

BigBasket is also in the race of increasing warehousing space to meet the demand of an increased number of orders fulfilled every day. With plans to increase warehousing capacity by 40%, there are going to be more than 300 dark stores in the upcoming financial year. Riding on the trend, MilkBasket is also going to expand with another 150,000 sq.ft. warehousing space in NCR region by the next month, in order to meet the excess demand.

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