Watch out – The US retail giant Walmart has serious plans of establishing a firm footprint of itself in the Indian market. The company is planning a series of partnerships with small and mid-level suppliers in India for deeper market penetration.
The company is also reported to be heading to tweak its global strategy of setting up huge retail spaces. Sources say that the company is mulling decisions to for smaller stores in India, to achieve a better penetration in the Indian market.
Walmart has plans of strategic partnerships with many small local suppliers across product categories to create a big list of private label brands that will be priced substantially lower – as much as 10-15% – than established products and brands. This would give the company a big edge over other retailers in the fray.
The move is part of the company’s strategy to go deeper into the Indian market and create cost-effective and efficient models of local procurement to keep front-end retail prices low, Raj Jain, MD & CEO of Bharti Walmart, has said.
WalMart is currently having a joint venture with the Bharti group in India and is running a chain of 17 cash-and-carry stores. Experts have indicated that under the deal, the stores run by Bharti may come under Wal-Mart’s fold. Currently, Bharti runs over 200 Easyday stores that are spread over a retail space of 3000-25,000 sq ft.
Protests have also been active against the Union government’s decision to allow FDI in retail, which will allow companies like Walmart to gain a strong presence in the Indian market.
Slamming Prime Minister Manmohan Singh over the issue of allowing FDI in multi-brand retail, BJP leader L K Advani had said that the red carpet was being rolled out for Walmart when it faced protests even in the US and New York City had “shut Walmart out”.