Amazon has received permission from the Indian government to invest in food and grocery retail, the company confirmed on Tuesday, as first reported by Reuters. India is undeniably one of the most important markets for Amazon in terms of growth and potential and taking that into account, coupled with the company's increased interest in the food market lately, it's no surprise the Seattle, Washington-based e-commerce giant is now looking to penetrate new segments in the South Asian country.
It's no secret Amazon has invested billions of dollars in the Indian market, but recent reports now suggest that the company has plans to invest a further $500 million solely dedicated to its plan of selling groceries in India. Currently, physical stores still account for the majority of grocery sales within the country, but recent years have seen online sales increase dramatically. This means that if Amazon can get its own grocery service up and running in the near future, it may well be able to capture a significant share of the food retail market as consumer habits shifts toward online services and away from traditional brick and mortar stores. The company still isn't expected to penetrate the market with little competition; earlier this year, its India-based competitor Flipkart announced that it would be returning to the food market. Once both companies officially launch their grocery retail services, a period of fierce competition is expected to start.
It's currently unknown when exactly Amazon will launch its own grocery service in India. In the meantime, though, the company does already offer food products through a joint venture with Cloudtail, but it'll remain to be seen if this joint venture will be affected once Amazon's own grocery brand launches in India. The Indian market isn't the only one where the online giant is investing heavily into groceries, though – the company recently bought Whole Foods Markets in the U.S. for a record sum. With Amazon investing into food retail around the world, the only thing left to see is if the company can become successful in this segment and how long does it take to realize its ambitions.