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Amazon tries to take mobile phone buying offline

In June, the fashion arm of Amazon India went offline to promote its end of season fashion sale

Karan Choudhury  |  New Delhi 

Amazon Inc, Amazon

In the run-up to e-commerce major opening fully-owned traditional to sell food products, the company has been experimenting in taking its different verticals Mostly by allowing people to look at the products they want to buy and then order it at those kiosks itself.

According to Arun Srinivasan, its category leader for consumer electronics, the company has started a project in Bengaluru and set up an “experience centre” in the of partner telecom entity Vodafone. “People can look at the phones, see how these function and order it there itself; it would be delivered at their doorstep. We are seeing how it goes before taking it to other This also requires talking and coordinating with different partners such as telecom firms and phone companies,” he said.

In June, the arm of went to promote its “end of season sale”. Amazon got into a number of tie-ups with major chains, including and Social Cafe, to promote a “wardrobe refresh sale”. The company also came up with the concept of “kiosks” at 10 corporate parks in three cities, including Delhi and Mumbai. The company has in recent months done a major promotion of the portal. on Tuesday announced that the Amazon Great Indian Sale starting from midnight of Wednesday till Saturday, would offer a selection of a little over 100 million products across categories, including big brands, at attractive prices.

Srinivasan said in the next two weeks, there was going to be four new phone launches ad the company would set up experience zones as well. “A lot is going to happen during the upcoming festive season,” he added. 

The company claimed that contrary to reports, its phone division was doing business on a par with its biggest rival in India,  

Amazon has been working towards setting up a brick-and-mortar base in India. The government in July allowed the Seattle-headquartered giant to open fully-owned traditional to sell food products. This is the first foreign direct investment (FDI) proposal for setting up “food-only” outlets that the government has permitted. It also happens to be the first case to get in-principle clearance after the Foreign Investment Promotion Board was recently shut down. 

In its January application to the department of industrial policy & promotion, the US major had proposed to invest $515 million (nearly Rs 3,300 crore) in food retailing over the next five years. Indian grocery Grofers and Big Basket could be the next to get a go-ahead for setting up food outlets, making it a total of $695 mn (Rs 4,400 crore) for these three entities.

First Published: Wed, August 09 2017. 00:12 IST