Walmart today said that it will grow its wholesale cash-and carry-business in India by adding 50 new stores in the next 4 to 5 years. This comes a day after it announced its $16 billion investment in Indian e-commerce retailer Flipkart.
Walmart currently operates 21 stores in 8 states across India under the name "Best Price Modern Wholesale." It had opened its first store in Amritsar in 2009. These are member-based wholesale stores with almost 5,000 items including fresh and frozen food, fruits and vegetables, dry groceries, personal and home care, hotel and restaurant supplies, clothing, office supplies and other general merchandise items. These stores are hard to miss as they are typically 50,000 sq. ft in area.
The produce is mainly procured from local suppliers as part of its logistics strategy in most countries.
Walmart does not have retail stores in India like it does in the US, as the Indian retail policy only allows international companies to sell through wholesale cash-and-carry segment and not directly.
After acquiring 77 percent stake in Flipkart, the company will be able to enter the online retail segment where 100 percent FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) is allowed. However, the two will operate as separate entities managed by their own board members and Flipkart will be headed by co-founder Binny Bansal as CEO.
The Best Price Modern Wholesale stores are a part of Walmart India, which is a subsidiary of Walmart Stores Inc.