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Amazon’s ‘I Have Space’ aids local stores expand business amid pandemic

The ongoing pandemic and the lockdowns have had a severe impact on local stores and as the restrictions were lifted, they started getting back to business. Several offline stores and retailers have also integrated themselves with the online segment to expand their business avenues to an omnichannel network.

In this process, Amazon India’s ‘I Have Space’ (IHS) program has played a major role with over 28,000 neighborhood and Kirana stores in nearly 350 towns and cities in the country.

Under the program, the e-commerce major partners with local store owners to provide pickup and delivery services to customers across different cities within a 2-4 kilometer radius of the store.

On average, Amazon India’s store partners deliver between 30 to 40 packages a day, earning a fixed amount per delivery.

Ramadevi, owner of Chennai-based Aarogyamatha Automobiles who enrolled herself into the program in 2019 said: “The regular income from this program has really been a blessing for my family. I know my local neighborhood and I felt that this was the perfect job for me.”

The average income earned through the program by a neighborhood store is Rs 12,000-Rs 15,000.

Anita Dave, owner of A1 Collection clothing store at Mulund in Mumbai enrolled herself as an I Have Space Partner in 2015 when she was the sole bread earner in her family.

Saying that the IHS program has changed her family’s life, she mentioned that there are several measures taken by Amazon for the safety of women’s delivery partners.

Talking of the impact on business during the lockdown when her shop was shut, she said: “That was a difficult period for us as a family. Thankfully, the earnings from the IHS program helped us sustain ourselves.”

Speaking on the program, an Amazon spokesperson said: “We are humbled to see how in this unprecedented time, ‘I Have Space’ program has helped us extend our reach to the customers as well as unlock the entrepreneurial potential of store owners, allowing them to supplement their regular income and generate more footfalls in their stores.”

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