US-based retail giant Walmart is reportedly converting some of its B2B wholesale store, Best Price Modern Wholesale, into a fulfilment centre or warehouses for ecommerce giant Flipkart.
As per an ET report, Walmart is looking to restructure its Best Price stores, which are central to its cash-and-carry business in India. Walmart is said to be converting six out of the total 28 stores, whereas another source claimed that eventually, this would extend to more Best Price stores. Meanwhile, global consulting firms have jumped in to guide Walmart through this transformation.
Last week, Flipkart was said to be in the pilot stages of launching its own wholesale B2B business, just like Walmart. The B2B wholesale segment is expected to go live in the first financial quarter of the financial year 2020-2021. Flipkart is running a pilot with fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) in Delhi NCR.
Reports suggest that Flipkart has started supplying FMCG goods to kirana stores across the Delhi NCR region. Besides that, Flipkart was also said to be in talks with Bengaluru-based online B2B food and grocery marketplace Jumbotail for a potential investment, and strategic partnership.
Flipkart spokesperson told Inc42, “We view the B2B segment as an opportunity to support and grow kiranas and SMEs in the country… Technology can play a critical role in making the kirana ecosystem very robust and efficient.”
Reports also suggest that Flipkart may acquire Walmart’s Best Price Modern Wholesale store to expand its footprint in the food and grocery segment and strengthen its supply chain.
Besides focusing on the wholesale business, Flipkart is also preparing to launch its own food and grocery platform, FarmerMart. The company has also been running a pilot for FarmerMart in Hyderabad. The company has partnered with Chennai-based agritech startup WayCool Foods and Products.
In December 2019, Flipkart and Walmart committed to invest in another agritech startup Ninjacart. In January 2020, Flipkart invested INR 71.83 Cr ($10 Mn) in Ninjacart’s Series C round, along with Singapore-based GEC3.
As far as Flipkart’s B2C business is concerned, Walmart could not be happier. As per its top execs, Flipkart has led Walmart’s overall ecommerce sales between November 2019 and January 2020. Walmart added that Flipkart has over a billion visitors a month and its monthly active customers have been growing by 45% compared to the previous year.