The eCommerce player Flipkart has acquired 100% stake in Walmart India, which operates Best Price cash and carry business, and launched a new digital marketplace, Flipkart Wholesale. According to reports, Flipkart Wholesale will be launching its operations in August and will pilot services for the grocery and fashion segments.
Walmart India operates 28 Best Price stores with modern wholesale stores that offer nearly 5,000 items in cash and carry wholesale format and own two fulfillment centers in Lucknow and Hyderabad.
Strengthening grocery business
This acquisition of Walmart India will help Bengaluru-headquartered Flipkart to leverage the strong wholesale capabilities of the company and enable the transformation and growth of the Kirana retail ecosystem in the country by leveraging locally developed technology. It will eventually strengthen the grocery business that is getting increasingly competitive.
Kiranas and MSMEs are key components to India’s retail ecosystem. The new platform, Flipkart Wholesale, will focus on meeting their needs by offering small businesses a wide selection at a significant value. In addition, Kiranas and MSMEs will have access to credit options and new income generation opportunities through various Flipkart initiatives.
Walmart India’s Best Price has more than 1.5 million members, including Kiranas and other MSMEs.
“With the launch of Flipkart Wholesale, we will now extend our capabilities across technology, logistics and finance to small businesses across the country,” Flipkart Group chief executive officer Kalyan Krishnamurthy told PTI.
“The acquisition of Walmart India adds a strong talent pool with deep expertise in the wholesale business that will strengthen our position to address the needs of Kiranas and MSMEs uniquely,” Krishnamurthy said.
However, the company declined to share financial details of the transaction saying that only Walmart India employees will move to the Flipkart Group. Adarsh Menon, a veteran at Flipkart will be heading the new business vertical whereas Sameer Aggarwal, Walmart India chief executive, will remain with the company to ensure a smooth transition, after that, he will move to another role within Walmart.
“For over a decade, we’ve been committed to India’s prosperity by serving Kiranas and MSMEs, supporting smallholder farmers, and building global sourcing and technology hubs throughout the country. Today marks the next big step as Walmart India’s pioneering cash-and-carry legacy meets Flipkart’s culture of innovation in the launch of Flipkart Wholesale,” said Judith McKenna, president and chief executive officer, Walmart International.