Homegrown social commerce platform Meesho has shut down its grocery business, as per a report. The business, known as Superstore, has been closed in more than 90 per cent of cities in India, barring Nagpur and Mysuru, and has resulted in several job losses.
As per a report by Inc42 quoting sources, the Superstore shutdown has resulted in the firing of 300 employees across the cities in India. The closing was done last week. The 300 employees who were fired comprised both on-roll and off-roll workers, including city launch managers, pricing team leads, warehouse managers, sales executives, sourcing executives, market intelligence executives, among others.
The company has not issued any statement regarding the matter.
Meesho Superstore was operational in cities across six states including Karnataka, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, and Maharashtra. In April, Meesho rebranded Farmiso to Superstore, after it had raised raising $570 million last year and promising that it would expand the venture to 200 cities.
After rebranding Farmiso to Superstore to highlight its continued focus to fulfill consumer demand for daily essentials in Tier 2 markets and beyond, Meesho had in the same month laid off 150 employees, mostly from Farmiso. It had at the time aimed to integrate its grocery business within the core application. Vidit Aatrey, Founder and CEO, Meesho, had issued a statement regarding this at the time.
“What started as a pilot in Karnataka is now seeing positive traction across six states. Driven by our user-first mindset, the integration will provide millions of Meesho users a unified shopping experience, while giving us an opportunity to drive stronger synergies across areas such as customer acquisition, technology and product and talent,” he had said in the statement.
Meesho had earlier laid off 200 employees during the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Inc42 report mentioned that this time, Meesho offered a two-month salary as a severance package to the laid off on-role employees. Moreover, the company has also absorbed some of the on-roll employees in its core business, as per the report quoting sources.
As per most of the employees who were fired, low revenue and a high cash burn were the two major reasons behind the company’s move to shy away from the venture and end operations in most of the cities.
“The business was not working right. There was no money coming in, this is why they decided to shut operations in most of the cities,” one of the sources told the media organisation.
“We were burning a lot of money for this business. Meesho started business in six states without proper planning. The supply chain was an issue, so was the logistics,” another source added.
Meesho launched a pilot in Karnataka to make online grocery shopping affordable, and the company aimed to make Superstore available in 12 states by the end of 2022.