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Flipkart to push discounts for consumers

With SoftBank’s infusion a whopping funds worth $2.5 billion investment in Flipkart, consumers can now look forward to a string of discounts this festive season as the top two e-commerce players get ready to loosen the purse strings in a bid to outdo each other over the next few months. Flipkart, at the group level, aims to clock Rs 5,000-5,500 crore, including sales from Myntra and Jabong, Amazon is looking to beat the former’s numbers on a stand-alone basis. Amazon has been pushing aggressively in areas where it has to catch up with Flipkart like fashion and large appliances. The Jeff Bezos-led tech behemoth, throughout last year, pumped capital into its India business with its annual spends surpassing $1billion in 2016. Flipkart, which took longer than expected to raise new capital, had gone slow on its monthly spends on discounting and promotions, bringing its burn down to about $30-40 million per month, even as Amazon’s onslaught continued. Over the past two months, however, Amazon’s monthly spends on discounts and promotions is around $80 million (over Rs 500 crore) per month, while Flipkart is believed to have upped the ante in the run-up to the sale season. Last year, Flipkart took a dig at Amazon as the Seattle-based e-tailer focused on selling daily consumables and household products.This year, Flipkart, too, is looking to push categories with pilots in grocery business along with segments like daily consumables, furniture and its private labels, including the recently-launched Billion brand. “With every festive season, Flipkart has expanded the e-commerce horizon in India, bringing to existing and new customers the widest product range at best prices. This year is going to be even more delightful for customers, because along with existing affordability programmes, we’re making new additions like extended warranties and buyback guarantee,” said Smrithi Ravichandran, senior director, category design organisation, Flipkart.

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