E-commerce giant Amazon has secured a clearance to deliver alcohol in India, starting with the eastern state of West Bengal. As per a new report, this will be the US-based company’s first foray into the country’s multi-billion-dollar alcohol sector. Also Read - Sony PlayStation 5 price, launch date leaked in Amazon France listing; check details
West Bengal State Beverages Corp, the authorized agency of West Bengal that carries out the retail of liquor online said Amazon was eligible for registration, as per the report by Reuters. Also eligible for registration is BigBasket, an Indian grocery venture, backed by the Chinese Alibaba group. Being India’s fourth most populous state, West Bengal has a population of over 90 million. Amazon has been invited to sign a memorandum of understanding with the state, said the notice. Also Read - Vivo Days sale event live on Amazon India; Offers interesting deals with savings of up to Rs 8,500
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The move is no surprise. Over the past few years, e-commerce sites like Amazon have been expanding into various sectors. As more and more people in the second-most populous country in the world get accustomed to online shopping, more and more services are taking the digital route. Amazon in particular has expanded to groceries and electronics, over time investing $6.5 billion in investments in India, which happens to be one of India’s key growth markets. Also Read - Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro goes on sale at 12PM on Amazon India: Check price, specifications
Amazon won’t however be the first company to take online orders for liquor. Indian food-delivery startups Swiggy and Zomato also started delivering alcohol in certain cities in the country last month. The startups offered the service at a crucial time when states had just started coming out of the lockdowns, however, the social distancing still remains mandatory.
The Indian liquor-and-lockdown tale
The country restricted liquor sales back in March when the country announced its first stage of the lockdown to tackle the Coronavirus outbreak. However, when the sales resumed in certain regions in May, hundreds of people lined up at liquor stores. Stocked up and unable to sell its stock, the liquor industry will benefit from the E-commerce shift.