JioMart activity is scaling up as per a report by JP Morgan research which found brisk online activity across stores and formats it visited in Mumbai in the last week of March that could have been nudged further by rising Covid-19 cases.

“We found the delivery infrastructure to be a mix of bike-based delivery executives, similar to eCommerce/food O2O, and van-based batched delivery that peers use (e.g., Bigbasket, DMart, Grofers). Our conversations suggest that there has been an evolution from bikes to largely vans at several stores, reflecting higher value, and heavier and more complex orders delivered with greater efficiency. Bike-based delivery ensures short turnaround times for lighter, low-value orders, improving customer experience,” JP Morgan said.

The note said most delivery staff identified themselves as being from JioMart or Grab (a delivery firm acquired by Jio in 2018), although few wore JioMart or Grab branding, and the vans and drivers were largely outsourced. This is unlike the branded fleets maintained by peers (Bigbasket, DMart Ready, Swiggy) that provide free publicity.

The report notes that the current infrastructure can support $8-11 billion in annual gross merchandise value (GMV).

“The stores we checked included a mix of Reliance Smart, Smart Point (smaller stores), and Sahakari Bhandar (SB) stores,” it added.

Larger Smart stores had 22 bike-based delivery agents and 17 vans on average, while smaller stores (Smart Point, SB) had 12 bikes and 2 vans on average.

Reliance Retail recently converted its 52 large format wholesale stores (Reliance Market) into fulfillment centers for JioMart.

“While our sample size is small, extrapolating across the national network suggests a capacity of 2,500-2,800 daily orders per store (570-620 in small formats, 2,500-2,800 in larger formats). Assuming AOVs of Rs1,100-1,300, this network can support an annual e-grocery GMV of $8-11bn. Our base-case FY23E eGrocery GMV of $6bn appears achievable with this infrastructure,” JP Morgan said.