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Future Group to shut online venture Big Bazaar Direct

Kishore Biyani

Kishore Biyani

Future Retail Ltd, which houses a string of retail chain formats, has decided to shut its online venture Big Bazaar Direct, according to a media report.

Business Standard, which reported the development, cited Future Group CEO

as saying over the weekend that Big Bazaar Direct will be closed within a week.

Separately, a report in The Economic Times said, citing a Future Group official it didn’t name, that the company was changing the business model for Big Bazaar Direct.

An email query to Future Group went unanswered by the time of filing this article.

The development comes weeks after Future Group tied up with Paytm to enable the users of the mobile payments and e-commerce platform to shop for Big Bazaar merchandise on the online marketplace.

Biyani had said at the time that, in Paytm, the Future Group found a partner that could help the business achieve positive unit economics. “The cost of customer acquisition in the e-commerce space is more than 20%, the cost of fulfilment is more than 20% and the cost of running operations is 8-10%. This totals to almost 50% as the cost of operation. At this cost, you can’t sell any goods on this medium,” he had said.

Big Bazaar Direct was launched in 2013. In the beginning, Big Bazaar Direct operated through a franchisee model where it allowed wannabe entrepreneurs or direct sellers to sign up by filling a franchisee application form on its portal. It was targeting 50,000 franchisees by the end of 2014.

In 2014, the company launched its pure-play e-commerce website. At the time of launch, it offered products in seven categories that included appliances, luggage and travel, home and living, kitchen and fashion.

Future Group operates a range of retail formats including Big Bazaar hypermarket chain, fashion store FBB, Foodhall, large-format lifestyle stores Central and Ezone electronics stores. Earlier this year, it agreed to acquire Rocket Internet-backed furniture e-tailer FabFurnish.com in its first acquisition in the e-commerce sector.

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