RIL's retail arm Reliance Retail Ltd's online commerce platform JioMart will transition into an e-marketplace, thereby posing a challenge to the likes of Amazon and Flipkart. Anticipating high sales during the upcoming festive season, JioMart's e-marketplace will offer brands across categories like jewellery, beauty, consumer durables, electronics, home and kitchen products.

The transition comes amid Reliance Retail’s plan to rope in several third-party sellers to increase options across categories. JioMart's month-long festival sale started last week and will go on till October 23, 2022. "JioMart is set to be a one-stop shop for all its customers' shopping needs this Diwali, from food to fashion," says the company. 

From 'flash deals' on its app to exclusive offers on durables and electronic gadgets such as laptops, smartwatches, smart HD TVs, smartphones and mobile accessories, JioMart will try to capture some share of the pie, which is grabbed by online platforms every year during this time, especially bigger ones like Amazon and Flipkart.

As per JioMart, it has on-boarded traditional artisans and weavers for the first time this festival season to boost its sales and transform lives of local artisans in India. 

Sandeep Varaganti, chief executive officer, JioMart, says: “We aim to transform the digital retail ecosystem by empowering local stores, kiranas, micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), SMEs, local artisans, and burgeoning women entrepreneurs.”

He adds that JioMart is onboarding sellers and local artisans into its e-commerce fold. "We have also expanded the categories across segments and increased stock-keeping units by more than 80x, compared with the previous year. Our most recent launch, the JioMart-WhatsApp ordering, has been received well by our customers. We are confident that during the upcoming festival season, we will be able to strengthen our relationship with sellers and customers through JioMart.”

The company eyes to expand its reach to the heartlands of the country and ensure timely delivery via the extensive network of physical stores, including Reliance Smart, Trends, and Reliance Digital.

The country's largest retailer Reliance Retail is a subsidiary of Reliance Retail Ventures Ltd., the holding company of all the retail companies under the RIL group. JioMart is Reliance Retail's e-tail arm, which was started in 2020. Reliance Retail's consolidated revenue stood at ₹1,99,704 crore and a net profit of ₹7,055 crore for the year ending March 31, 2022.

JioMart also allows customers to buy household items and groceries from the Meta-owned WhatsApp platform under a strategic partnership between Meta and Jio Platforms. Meta had invested almost ₹43,574 crore in RIL's wholly-owned subsidiary Jio Platforms Limited in April 2020 for a 9.99% stake in the company. It was the largest foreign direct investment for a minority investment in India. 

Amid the festive season, e-commerce companies like Amazon, Flipkart and others have kickstarted their annual festival sales. Amazon's Great Indian Festival 2022 and Flipkart's Big Billion Days Sale 2022 started on Friday last week. Both the top e-comm players are expecting record sales this year as the effect of Covid seems to have finally waned. During this time last year, both of these companies accounted for 90% of the total sales worth $9.2 billion, as per a RedSeer report. The total online festive sales are expected to rise further to $11.8 billion this year. 

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