A little over a month after the Flipkart Group acquired Walmart India to set up a wholesale business, the Indian ecommerce firm has begun operations of Flipkart Wholesale in three cities.
The digital business-to-business (B2B) marketplace looks to connect local manufacturers with retailers via a mobile app, a statement said. Currently accessible on Google Play, the platform sells footwear and apparel to retailers in Gurugram, Delhi and Bengaluru, with plans to expand services to Mumbai soon.
The company looks to cater to 20 more cities by the year-end and include categories such as home and kitchen, and grocery. The B2B platform aims to rope in over 300 strategic partners and have over two lakh listings in two months. Additionally, the platform will onboard 50 brands and over 250 local manufacturers in the coming days, the statement said.
With the strong capability within the group in B2B, we will focus on meeting the needs of kiranas and MSMEs by providing small businesses a wide selection at significant value, powered by technology to make their lives easier, Adarsh Menon, senior vice president and head of Flipkart Wholesale, said.
“Whether in grocery, general merchandise or fashion, these businesses will have one-stop access to an extensive selection of products with attractive schemes and incentives, supplemented with data-driven recommendations for stock selection, delivered through a fast and reliable network to drive greater efficiencies,” Menon said.
The platform will also offer credit facilities, market insights, order tracking and return options, and product delivery directly to their shops. The homegrown ecommerce giant aims to leverage its technology capabilities, supply chain infrastructure and logistics network to offer operational efficiencies and better margins to retailers.
In July, when the reverse acquisition took place, the Bengaluru-based company said it would leverage the wholesale capabilities of Walmart India, which operates a cash-and-carry business called Best Price. Best Price brand would continue to operate via its omnichannel network of 28 stores and ecommerce operations, with a customer base of over 1.5 million, it said.
Bentoville, Arkansas-based Walmart, the world’s largest brick-and-mortar retailer, became the majority owner in Flipkart in May 2018 when it acquired a 77% stake in the company for $16 billion. The reverse acquisition of its Indian subsidiary took place a week after Flipkart Group raised $1.2 billion in a fresh equity funding round led by Walmart. The deal valued the homegrown etailer at $24.9 billion, post money.
Flipkart Wholesale opens a new warfront with Amazon’s B2B marketplace Amazon Business; Udaan, which was founded by former Flipkart employees; Metro Cash & Carry; and Reliance Market; along with venture capital-backed startups such as Bijnis, Jumbotail and Ninjacart. Walmart and Flipkart made a joint investment in Ninjacart in December last year.