Bengaluru-headquartered e-commerce giant Flipkart, which recently acquired its parent firm Walmart’s loss-making wholesale business in India, is looking for methods to consolidate its operations.
The company might be shutting down Walmart’s Indian B2B wholesale franchise ‘Best Price’ stores or turning some of them into warehouses with a greater focus on their ecommerce operations, as reported by TOI (1).
Flipkart acquired Walmart’s Best Price Modern Wholesale last month, in a bid to launch its own service ‘Flipkart Wholesale’ to expand its presence in the food and retail segment.
Flipkart Wholesale is expected to launch its operations this month itself on a pilot basis in the fashion and grocery categories. All Walmart India employees are expected to join the Flipkart group next year in Bengaluru.
Flipkart Group spokesperson stated,
“Employees of the Walmart India team will transition to Flipkart Wholesale in January 2021. As part of the integration, we will be moving our operations to Bengaluru in the next fiscal. We will provide our employees with the necessary support to make this move.”
Walmart doesn’t sell to its consumers directly in India but rather through organized wholesalers or cash and carry operators that sell merchandise to the local Kirana stores, hotels, etc.
AIOVA’s protest against Flipkart’s acquisition
The spokesperson added that the Best Price cash and carry business would continue to serve its 1.5 million-plus members via its omnichannel network of 28 stores and B2B e-commerce operations.
Further, the company’s new store would open in Tirupati to serve its members later this year and continue to evaluate store openings opportunities.
In FY19, Best Price doubled its year-on-year net loss at Rs 172 crore and simultaneously also noted an 11% spike in its revenue at Rs 4065 crore.
Meanwhile, the All India Online Vendors Association (AIOVA) approached the Competition Commission of India (CCI) to protest against Flipkart’s reverse acquisition of Walmart’s wholesale unit Best Price.