Walmart Inc has fired over 100 of its India executives as part of its restructuring in the country, a report in the Economic Times said. It is common knowledge that Walmart has been facing trouble expanding its wholesale business in India. Walmart, the world's largest retailer, operates 28 wholesale stores where it sells goods to small shopkeepers, and not to retail consumers.
The firings by Walmart mostly affected executives in the company's real estate division because the growth in the wholesale model has not been that robust, sources told Reuters. Walmart has also planned to shut down a fulfillment center in Mumbai.
In a statement to Economic Times, Walmart said it was always looking for ways to operate more effectively and that "this required us to review our corporate structure to ensure that we are organized in the right way to best meet the needs of our members."
According to the report, the lay offs include that of senior executives at the retailer's sourcing, agri-business and the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) divisions at its head office in Gurugram. The announcements were made at a town hall on Friday. The report further said that more exits would most likely happen in April.
The retailer made its debut in India in 2007 through a partnership with Bharti Enterprises for a cash-and-carry business that allows small businesses, mom-pop stores, and hotels to buy directly in bulk from its large stores. In 2013, both parted ways with Walmart building the cash-carry business in India on its own.
Walmart has as many as 600 staff in its India head office out of a total of around 5,300 nationally.
About Walmart India
Walmart India owns and operates 28 Best Price Modern Wholesale stores offering nearly 5,000 items in a Cash & Carry wholesale format. The company also has 3 Fulfillment Centres in the country - Mumbai, Lucknow and Hyderabad.
Walmart entered India in 2007 and opened its first store in India in Amritsar, Punjab in May, 2009. In 2014, Walmart India became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Walmart Inc.
Walmart India opened its first Fulfillment Center (FC) in Mumbai in November 2017 to enable kiranas, resellers & other businesses in Mumbai and neighbouring areas to get access to a wide assortment of merchandise relevant to them without stepping out of their stores. The second FC was opened in 2018 in Lucknow and the third one is located in Hyderabad.
What Walmart India offers
A Walmart cash-and-carry store spans over 50,000 square feet offering more than 5,000 items across product categories such as:
- Consumer Packaged Goods (Food & Non Food)
- General Merchandise
- Household Electronics
- Fresh (Fruits, Vegetables, Poultry, Mutton, Fish)
- Dairy (Milk and Milk Products)
Many more other products are also available under one roof, at everyday low and transparent prices to business members, allowing retailers and business owners to lower their cost of operations and maximize their revenues, Walmart India website said. Over 90-95% of these products are sourced locally. This helps to keep costs to a minimum, adds to the growth of the local economy and creates job opportunities, it said. Enhanced job opportunities are also created locally as the store directly employs from the local community.