Walmart in talks with Tata Group for India partnership

US business Walmart is in talks with Tata Group to possibly form a strategic partnership for the two businesses using Tata’s distribution network to help Walmart expand its wholesale operations in India. 

Walmart and Tata Group could partner in India

Walmart and Tata are considering forming a partnership to expand both business’ reach in India, three executives told ET Bureau. The partnership would allow Walmart to expand its reach to kirana stores through Tata’s network and allow Flipkart, which it acquired over a year ago, to also expand in the market. Walmart would also have an India-based ally which would help with government interactions. 

“This partnership will aim to expand reach to kiranas, upgrade them and then utilise the network for fulfilment of food and grocery orders for Flipkart,” an executive source told ET Bureau. “It’s almost the same as what Reliance Industries intends to do and at a similar scale. This is an asset-light model and Walmart will thereby have an indirect presence in retail in a peaceful way without making any capital investment.”

Walmart currently operates 26 “Best Price Modern Wholesale” stores in India which retail personal care items, cosmetics, groceries, and other products. Tata also operates 43 supermarket stores in various metros in partnership with UK business Tesco under the names Star Hyper, Star Market, Star Daily, and Star Extra.

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