Walmart is gearing up to stay ahead of the competition in India with plans to invest about USD 500 million, approximately Rs 3200 crore to roll out 47 wholesale stores in India by the end of 2022. This will take the total number of outlets of Walmart india to 70 from the current 23 total outlets across the country.
Walmart India opened its 23rd wholesale store in Visakhapatnam and is also looking to set up the second store in the city, the company’s President and CEO Krish Iyer said, “The newly opened outlet in Visakhapatnam came up on 56,000 square feet of area and provided employment to about 2000 people, directly and indirectly”, he added. The outlet is also the fourth in Andhra Pradesh and first in the state after Walmart India became a 100 percent subsidiary of Walmart.
It may be noted that the US retailer had formed a joint venture with telecom major Bharti Enterprises in 2007 to create Bharti-Walmart. However, the two companies parted their ways in 2014 and Walmart India became a wholly-owned arm of Walmart.
“We have a plan to open another store in Visakhapatnam. We are looking for a site and hope to sign the property in the next 3 to 4 months. It takes about 3 hours to open a store after we sign a property,” he added. Of the total 23 B2B Cash and Carry outlets, 19 have already achieved break even with over a million members.
In May this year, Walmart agreed to acquire a controlling 77 percent equity stake of Flipkart from existing shareholders, including Japan’s SoftBank, for USD 14 billion, apart from investing USD 2 billion of fresh equity, valuing the homegrown firm at about USD 21 billion in what is one of the biggest acquisitions in the country.
While talking about possible cannibalization of sales by Flipkart, Iyer said both are in different segments as Walmart offers B2B services, while Flipkart focuses on individual customers. Walmart India offers approximately 5000 items through its cash and carry wholesale format. — Financial Express