US retail giant Walmart is looking to further strengthen its brand presence in India as it plans to invest about $500 Mn (INR 3200 Cr) to reach a total of 70 B2B Cash and Carry stores in the country by 2022.
In an interaction, Krish Iyer, President and CEO Walmart India, said that out of the 23 B2B Cash and Carry stores, 19 have achieved break even with over a million members.
The company launched its 23rd wholesale store in Visakhapatnam on Wednesday and is now also in talks to set up a second store in Visakhapatnam while discussions are underway for land.
Iyer shared that a typical store needs anywhere between $9 Mn- $10 Mn investment and plans to have an ecommerce space in all the stores. At present, all Walmart stores offer B2B ecommerce solutions for our members, either online or via the mobile app and call centre, and accepts orders over the phone or through Kirana Relationship Managers.
At the same time, the company is also planning to increase the number of fulfilment centres across the country.
Walmart has been in India since 2007 and has maintained a slow and steady (albeit low-profile) rate of growth and expansion in the country. Walmart India opened its first fulfilment centre (FC) in Mumbai in November 2017.
Recently talking to Inc42 about Walmart’s plans in India, Rajneesh Kumar, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, Walmart India, shared that it directly employs around 4,000 associates in India and estimated that each new store opened creates about 2,000 direct and indirect job opportunities for the local community.
In May 2018, Walmart announced the $16 Bn acquisition of Indian ecommerce giant Flipkart for a 77% stake. After much drama — including flip-flops by Flipkart shareholder SoftBank, trader protests, regulatory assessments, and tax hurdles — the deal was finally completed in August.
To identify synergies for growth, Walmart is now reportedly looking to leverage the Flipkart platform to cross-sell private brands. At the same time, it’s looking for ways to channelise its expertise in technology and analytics to help Flipkart with grocery retailing.
For over a decade now, Walmart has been trying to expand its presence in the lucrative Indian retail industry, which is expected to reach $11.25 Bn by 2019. The Flipkart acquisition has given Walmart just that key as it continues to cover India with its brand presence.
[The development was reported by PTI.]