Flipkart buys Walmart’s India business - 'kirana stores' network to bolster e-retail play

  • Flipkart has acquired Walmart India’s business and has announced the launch of Flipkart Wholesale.
  • Walmart’s Best Price cash-and-carry business will now come under Flipkart.
  • Best Price currently has over 1.5 million members including kirana stores and MSMEs.
Flipkart has acquired Walmart India’s business and announced the launch of Flipkart Wholesale. With this, the 28 Walmart’s Best Price stores in India will now come under Flipkart. Best Price currently has over 1.5 million members including kirana stores and MSMEs.

With the acquisition of Walmart India business, Flipkart hopes to transform the kirana retail ecosystem in India with technology.

While Flipkart has been working with kirana store owners since 2019 by bringing them on its platform, it is now entering the business-to-business e-commerce in the kirana stores segment – one that JioMart, Amazon are all betting on as the next big leg of Indian e-retail. Flipkart is going to begin the operations of Flipkart Wholesale in August, with grocery, fashion and general merchandise.


Kirana stores regained their popularity during the coronavirus lockdown, as consumers rushed to the nearest grocery store to stock up. Four months later, consumer spending at kirana stores are still 22% higher than pre-Covid levels. “They have been winning the loyalty of the current consumers and acquiring new ones,” said Prem Kumar, Founder & CEO of Snapbizz.

“With the launch of Flipkart Wholesale, we will now extend our capabilities across technology, logistics and finance to small businesses across the country. 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.

Walmart had recently invested $1.2 billion in Flipkart in an equity round, two years after it bought a 77% stake in the Indian retail giant for $16 billion. The round valued Flipkart at $24.9 billion. Flipkart had recently surpassed the mark of 1.5 billion visits per month and reported 45% growth in monthly active customers and 30% growth in transactions per customer for FY20


“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. 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 Chief Executive Officer, Walmart International in a statement.

The Walmart India team will now come under Flipkart and Flipkart Wholesale will be headed by Adarsh Menon, a veteran at the e-commerce company. McKenna said that with this new move, the combined team will break “new ground in their shared mission to help Indian businesses grow and succeed”.


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