Flipkart Group, on Thursday, announced the acquisition of Walmart India and launch a new digital marketplace – Flipkart Wholesale to tap into the retail market in India.
The e-commerce platform has acquired a 100 per cent stake in Walmart India, which operates the Best Price cash-and-carry business. This acquisition was announced with the launch of Flipkart Wholesale, a new digital marketplace to help transform the Kirana retail ecosystem in India.
Walmart India, which runs 28 Best Price stores across nine states, has an estimated 3,500 employees. Following the acquisition, Walmart India employees will join the Flipkart group, while the Best Price brand will continue serving its 1.5 million members via its omnichannel network stores and e-commerce operations, the firm said.
“With the launch of Flipkart Wholesale, we will extend our capabilities across technology, logistics, and finance to small businesses,” said Kalyan Krishnamurthy, CEO of Flipkart Group.“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,” he added.
Flipkart Wholesale will launch its operations in August 2020 and will pilot services for the grocery and fashion categories. It will be headed by Adarsh Menon, a veteran at Flipkart. Sameer Aggarwal, Chief Executive Officer at Walmart India, will remain with the company to ensure a smooth transition, after which time he will move to another role within Walmart.
Adarsh Menon, Senior Vice President and Head – Flipkart Wholesale, said, “Flipkart Wholesale will further deepen and build on Walmart India and the Flipkart Group’s commitment to kiranas and MSMEs over the last several years. Thousands of kiranas have already partnered with Flipkart to enhance their business and income streams. I am excited to be part of this new initiative that allows us to expand opportunities for growth for them and bring further prosperity to their lives. We will leverage the synergies between Flipkart and Walmart India as we stay focused on transforming the wholesale experience for kiranas and MSMEs.”
The move will help Flipkart take on Amazon and JioMart. Both companies are rapidly bringing kiranas and local shops onto their platforms.
Flipkart is looking to offer attractive incentives to small businesses, which will be supplemented with data-driven recommendations for stock selection. In addition, kiranas and MSMEs will benefit from access to easy credit options and opportunities for new income generation, through various Flipkart initiatives.
“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 CEO of Walmart International. Walmart had invested $16 billion in 2018 for a majority stake in Flipkart. Earlier this month, it led a $1.2-billion round in Flipkart, valuing the e-commerce firm at $24.9 billion.