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Companies work on transforming to online, home delivery model, Retail News, ET Retail

Companies work on transforming to online, home delivery modelKOLKATA|BENGALURU: Leading retailers, ecommerce firms and restaurants said they are bracing up for a surge in home deliveries and online sales for six months as consumers are unlikely to step out.

Their plans include hiring delivery personnel, training existing store staff for ecommerce business and building more warehouses.

Walmart-owned Flipkart is in the process of hiring 4,000 people, while Spencer‘s Retail is recruiting 1,000, two senior industry executives said. Reliance Retail and Arvind Fashions are building processes for a surge in ecommerce and phone orders, and training manpower for that.

The All India Mobile Retailers Association (AIMRA), meanwhile, has asked cellphone stores, totalling around 1.5 lakhs, to be ready for post-lockdown by grooming staff for home demonstration and sales of smartphones, its president Arvinder Khurana said.

Consumer electronics retailers such as Vijay Sales, Kohinoor and Great Eastern Retail too are creating ecommerce portals and training existing staff in video-call demonstrations and phone bookings.

Spencer’s Retail and Nature’s Basket managing director Devendra Chawla said, “We anticipated and trained store staff in contactless safe delivery and added manpower at front-end for delivery.”

Flipkart has taken live its essentials delivery to 300 cities from just five earlier, a senior industry executive said. The company didn’t respond until press time Tuesday to an email seeking comment.

Retailers said the partnerships created for delivery of essentials with mobility and delivery fleet operators like Uber, Swiggy, Zomato, Rapido and Zypp would continue post the lockdown and could be expanded for other products like smartphones and apparel.

Speciality Restaurants, which operates outlets like Mainland China and Oh! Calcutta, is setting up a separate business vertical for takeaways and home delivery.

Grofers CEO Albinder Dhindsa said the company would further scale up manpower and warehouses. “We are already seeing 8-10 times more demand than we can serve right now,” he said.

Arvind Fashions that sells brands like Gap, Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger and US Polo Assn said it is training brick-and-mortar store staff for online sale and home deliveries. “Offline store staff will be utilised in quicker packaging for delivery via logistics partners,” Arvind Fashions CEO J Suresh said.

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