Walmart-owned Flipkart on Saturday said gradual opening up delivery of non-essential goods through e-commerce will help meet consumer demands, while easing the burden of piled up inventory of micro, small and medium enterprises amid the nationwide lockdown.

The comments came after the government allowed neighbourhood and standalone shops, including those located in residential complexes in urban areas, to open (at 50 per cent strength and after taking necessary precautions) during the ongoing lockdown till May 3.


In rural areas, all shops, except those in shopping malls, are allowed to open.

However, opening of shops located in COVID-19 hotspot and containment zones, sale of non-essential items by e-commerce platforms and sale of liquor continue to be prohibited under the late night order on Friday.

A Flipkart Group spokesperson welcomed the government’s decision of providing gradual relaxations in retail.

Consumers have shown great restraint during lockdown, and there is a need to support their requirements. Further, a gradual opening up of delivery of non-essential goods through ecommerce will help meet consumer needs, which include items that will enable them to work from home, stay in touch with others and also address the rising temperature across the country,” the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson added that e-commerce can help meet these requirements in a safe and secure way, while ensuring social distancing and allowing the government in continuing its efforts to contain this situation.

Ecommerce can also support in easing the burden of piled up inventory of MSMEs and help in the delivery of these products to consumers in a safe and secure way while following the robust safety SOPs (standard operating procedures),” the spokesperson said, adding that the company remains committed towards the fight against COVID-19.

An Amazon India spokesperson said online commerce offers the “safest way” for sellers/retailers to serve the needs of citizens while ensuring social distancing.