A month after announcements of restructuring of its business in India, US-based retailer behemoth Walmart has now reportedly started the process to convert its wholesale stores into fulfilment centres for its e-commerce firm Flipkart.
The development comes a month after reports of Flipkart’s plan to acquire the loss-making wholesale cash-and-carry business of its controlling firm in India.
The company will convert six wholesale stores into fulfilment centres out of 28 stores it has in India, according to an ET report.
Flipkart, which has also been piloting B2B business, aims to use Walmart’s B2B business to serve unorganised segments demand.
Last month, the home-grown e-commerce marketplace had told Entrackr that the company sees the B2B segment as an opportunity to support and grow Kiranas and SMEs in the country.
Entrackr queries seeking detail response in this regard to both Walmart and Flipkart remain unanswered. We will update the post as and when they respond.
It’s worth noting that Walmart attempts to strike deal with the Tata Group for about a year didn’t fructify. Since early 2019, Tata Group was in the negotiations for a joint venture with the US retail giant to debut in domestic cash and carry business.
In the past, Walmart India had a JV with Bharti Enterprises in 2007, which fell through in 2013. Last month, Walmart India also gave pink slips to 56 employees as part of a restructuring exercise.
Walmart started local operations with selling merchandise to local kirana (neighbourhood retailers) stores, hotels and catering firms in 2007.
At present, it operates around 28 wholesale cash-carry stores and three fulfilment centres. It claims to have over 10 lakh consumers enrolled for its membership program.
In terms of financial health, Walmart witnessed an increase in its losses during FY19. In the last fiscal year, the wholesale unit of the company posted a revenue of Rs 4,065 crore while its losses grew to Rs 171.68 crore. The company attributed increased losses in the period due to its investments for growth.