INTERNATIONAL.PERDANANEWS.COM – SINGAPORE — Grab jumps aboard Asian grocery-delivery wave amid COVID. Southeast Asia’s biggest ride-hailing company, Grab, is racing to cash in on the food and grocery delivery boom as the pandemic dampens appetites for brick-and-mortar shopping.
The Singapore-based company spans eight countries, including Indonesia and Thailand. Its branded grocery delivery service, GrabMart, offers behind-the-scenes support for about 13,000 retail stores in the region, enabling home deliveries in as fast as 20 to 30 minutes.
In an interview with Nikkei Asia, Demi Yu, regional head of GrabFood and GrabMart, said the company is pursuing an “anything you can eat” strategy as regards home deliveries. “Whenever you are hungry or whenever you are planning your next meal … we want you to think of Grab,” she said.
Grab test-marketed grocery delivery in Singapore and Malaysia over the 2019 October-December period. Since March this year, the company has rapidly expanded into six more countries as the coronavirus outbreak fueled demand for home deliveries.
The company’s role is limited to delivery: It does not purchase products, instead, partnering with retail outlets like convenience stores and supermarkets with established distribution channels.
Grab has tied up with convenience store chain FamilyMart in Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia, along with supermarket chain Big C in Vietnam.
After a customer places an order, the Grab driver closest to the store picks it up and delivers it within 30 minutes or so.
Some major supermarkets in Southeast Asia already have their own online supermarket services that might compete with GrabMart. But Yu thinks Grab can coexist with those players, as it provides a different type of service: quick delivery of immediate needs rather than bulk delivery of items purchased once or twice a week.