India’s Flipkart disclosed it had secured parent Walmart Inc’s local cash-and-carry business, as the e-commerce firm fortifies its wholesale offerings to contend better with Amazon.com Inc.
The deal allows Flipkart to launch a digital marketplace called Flipkart Wholesale next month, the Bengaluru-headquartered firm said, without disclosing any financial details of the deal.
The brand has 28 wholesale stores, two fulfillment centers, and more than 1.5 million members, largely comprising mom-and-pop stores, but Walmart has not been able to make money from this business.
The Flipkart deal comes as e-commerce players including Amazon look to woo India’s mom-and-pop stores that are considered the backbone of the economy.
Flipkart also faces competition from local online grocery upstart JioMart, backed by billionaire Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries, whose digital arm has raised around $20 billion.
India does not allow foreign investors to control and market their own inventory on their e-commerce platforms, which is seen as giving JioMart and other local players an edge in a key growth market for e-commerce.
Walmart India employees will jump on the Flipkart Group as part of the deal, Flipkart said.