Even as Flipkart and Amazon get all the attention, there is yet another big player that is setting up its ecommerce operations in India.
Wal-Mart, the world’s biggest employer, is expanding its ecommerce operations in India, but has restricted the access to its site to registered owners of smaller shops.
In a statement, it said it is opening its wholesale e-commerce platform to customers in Guntur and Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh from 1st October, taking the tally of e-commerce platforms to four stores in India.
Unlike Amazon and other foreign players like Flipkart, Wal-Mart has chosen to go slow in its expansion in India. The sector still faces huge uncertainties over legal tangles. Amazon and Flipkart are reportedly facing problems over the warehousing services to clients, with Karnataka state government saying that if they stock merchandise, that is enough for them to consider that the merchandise is theirs.
India does not allow foreign companies to sell stuff here.
The B2B e-commerce platform bestprice.in was launched in India on 1st July 2014 for members of Lucknow and Hyderabad Best Price stores.
Starting 1st October, members of Best Price Wholesale stores in Guntur and Vijayawada can shop and book orders online, the company said.
As a virtual store, the e-commerce platform will provide a similar assortment of products as the brick and mortar Best Price Modern Wholesale stores including a select variety of fresh fruits and vegetables introduced recently, it said.
“Given the tremendous support from our members for this initiative, we will continue to extend this in a phased manner to our other stores as well,” Krish Iyer, President and CEO, Wal-Mart India, said.
“Members have particularly appreciated our transparency and consistency of prices, availability of products and assortment besides the convenient payment options and efficient delivery solutions.”
Customers (retailers) can get delivery at their doorsteps, and also avail of a variety of payment options, Wal-Mart said.
Prior to the launch, workshops with members would be organized by Wal-Mart India team in the two cities (Guntur and Vijayawada) to generate awareness on this initiative and also to create better understanding about the website navigation, benefits and registration processes.
Wal-Mart India’s cash & carry business is a B2B format and hence only registered members of the Best Price Modern Wholesale stores in these respective cities will be eligible to transact online. Eligible establishments (resellers, kirana shop owners, hotels, restaurants, caterers and offices and institutions) in the catchment areas can transact only after registering as members. To register and become a member, one can log on to www.bestprice.in.
Wal-Mart India Private Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of Walmart Stores Inc., the world’s leading retailer renowned for its efficiency and expertise in logistics, supply chain management and sourcing. It owns and operates 20 Best Price Modern Wholesale stores in 9 States across India. The first store opened in Amritsar in May 2009. The company plans to open 50 more stores by 2020.