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Amazon signs long-term partnership with India's Future Retail

Amazon.com Inc.'s Indian arm has struck a long-term business agreement with Indian consumer goods retailer Future Retail Ltd. to expand the latter's online reach in the local market, according to a Jan. 6 announcement.

Amazon said its Indian marketplace will help Future Retail boost its customer base in India by becoming the authorized online sales platform for Future Retail stores.

Under the partnership, Indian customers will be able to purchase food, fast-moving consumer goods, fashion, footwear and homeware categories from Future Retail through Amazon India's online marketplace. The companies have already launched the service across 22 Future Retail stores, with plans to roll out the Amazon online retail service to the entire Future Retail store chain.

"This arrangement will allow us to build upon each other's strengths in the physical and digital space so that customers benefit from the best services, products, assortment and price," Future Retail Chairman and Managing Director Kishore Biyani said.

The announcement comes nearly five months after Bloomberg News reported that the Seattle-based e-commerce company is in advanced discussions to buy up to 10% of Future Retail to boost its offline presence in the country. Speculation about the potential deal surfaced as early as October 2018, but both Amazon and Future Retail have yet to confirm the reported move.

However, in August 2018, Future Retail disclosed in a regulatory filing that Amazon is acquiring a 49% stake in loyalty cards and coupons distributor Future Coupons Ltd., which holds a stake in Future Retail.