Walmart plans to double India wholesale chain over next four years
US giant Walmart plans to more than double its India wholesale business over the next four years and intends to facilitate growth by partnering with the country’s local neighbourhood stores.
Walmart plans to open 26 more Best Price wholesale stores by 2023 and invest between $8 million and $10 million per store. The business plans to open between eight and 10 stores every year after 2023. Walmart is also piloting a programme with Best Price Wholesale to help local stores sell to their customers directly online.
Where Walmart has competed with local stores across the US, it intends to partner with them for its India expansion, turning its traditional competition into an ally. Due to India’s foreign direct investment regulations, Walmart can only do wholesale business in the country as a 100 percent foreign owned entity. However, the business has used this limitation to form its new growth strategy.
Walmart intends to supply Kirana stores across India through its wholesale business. This also puts the brand in direct competition with its main rivals Amazon and Reliance Retail which also need to achieve this same end. Local stores account for around 90 percent of India’s retail sales and there are around 12 million in the country so they present a real growth opportunity for a business able to supply them.
Walmart’s India CEO Krish Iyer said about the business’ aims for India: "Our single biggest agenda is: ‘How can they [customers] become more loyal to us?’" In an interview with Bloomberg in the business’ newest India store in Karimnagar, Iyer said that Walmart’s “expansion phase will continue because the opportunity in India is huge."
Walmart began its India wholesale business in 2009 and acquired the e-commerce giant Flipkart last year for $16 million (Rs 1 lakh crore).
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