Here is what a retail consultant told me a year ago: “The next war of e-commerce will be fought over food and groceries.” His words have proved prophetic. With China’s Alibaba investing $146 million in BigBasket, Amazon committing $500 million to food retail, and, most recently, US giant Walmart’s $16 billion Flipkart buy, the online grocery war is no secret.
In the shadow of these big-ticket moves though, a dark horse is stirring. Over the last 18 months, the RK Damani-promoted Avenue Supermarts has been discreetly experimenting with the e-retail space. Focussed primarily on food and grocery, the company looks set to be the latest addition to an increasingly crowded online grocery sector.