Walmart-owned Flipkart on Wednesday said it has increased its last-mile reach to more than 3,000 delivery hubs across the country ahead of the festive season to provide a fast and efficient e-commerce experience to consumers.
This expansion will also help lakhs of sellers, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises and artisans from smaller towns to connect with a pan-India consumer base through Flipkart’s supply chain, a statement said.
Overall, Flipkart has added over 3.4 million square feet space across its supply chain assets including fulfilment centres, mother hubs and delivery centres throughout the country, the statement said.
Fulfilment centres or FCs are large warehouses (up to 5 lakh square feet in size) where sellers can store their products that are then checked, packed and shipped to mother hubs or sortation centres. Here, the shipments are sorted based on their pin codes and sent to the respective delivery hubs that are closer to the customers.
Delivery hubs are the last leg of the supply chain spread to enable faster deliveries to customers. They are usually in the range of 300-6,000 sq ft. These centres contribute to large scale creation of direct and indirect employment.
“With this addition, the total warehousing space for Flipkart now totals to over 18 million sq ft in addition to lakhs of square feet of assets from partner brands,” the company said.
The company, however, did not specify the number of delivery hubs that it has added as it prepares for the festive sales.
Flipkart had previously announced onboarding of over 50,000 kiranas across the country to help manage the increase in orders seen during the festive season.
The pandemic has accelerated the expansion of our supply chain across the country, particularly smaller cities, to meet growing demands for e-commerce services, Flipkart Senior Vice-President, Ekart and Marketplace, Amitesh Jha said.
“…keeping in mind the growth of e-commerce over the next few years, this expansion will enable us to connect millions of consumers across the country with lakhs of sellers and artisans in a fast and efficient manner,” he added.
Jha said this additional space and infrastructure investment will also boost local employment, particularly for people who went back to their hometowns due to the lockdown, and create opportunities for local businesses to scale up their operations significantly with Flipkart.
Flipkart will host its annual ‘The Big Billion Days’ sale from October 16-21.
E-commerce companies see a large chunk of their business coming in during the festive sales and they make significant investments ahead of time to ramp up their capacity to be able to handle the spike in orders. The festive season sees players holding multiple sale events, timed around Dussehra and Diwali.
Electronics, fashion and home furnishing are some of the categories that see a huge demand during the festive season.
A report by RedSeer estimates that festive sales this year are expected to almost double and touch USD 7 billion in gross merchandise value (GMV) as compared to USD 3.8 billion in the same period last year.