Ecommerce platform Flipkart on Thursday announced the acquisition of 100 per cent interest in Walmart India to leverage the strong wholesale capabilities of the company as it launched Flipkart Wholesale, a new digital marketplace designed to help transform the kirana retail ecosystem in the country. 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.
The announcement marks the consolidation of American retail giant Walmart's business in India which controls Flipkart.
Walmart India operates the Best Price cash-and-carry business which currently supports more than 1.5 million members, including kiranas, horecas and other MSMEs, and has long-standing supplier diversity and development programmes.
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, Flipkart said.
"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,a Judith McKenna, President and CEO, Walmart International, said in a statement.
"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."
Kiranas and MSMEs are central to India's retail ecosystem and Flipkart Wholesale will focus on meeting their needs by providing small businesses a wide selection at significant value, powered by technology to make their lives easier.
In addition, kiranas and MSMEs will benefit from access to easy credit options and opportunities for new income generation through various Flipkart initiatives, creating new ways to catalyse growth, the e-commerce major said.
"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," said Kalyan Krishnamurthy, Chief Executive Officer, Flipkart Group.
"With this development, the Flipkart Group will further build upon the synergies across its businesses to drive greater value and choice for end-consumers and businesses alike."
(With agency inputs)