October 11, 2012

Walmart seeks local suppliers in India

US retail major Walmart is looking to forge a series of partnerships with small and medium suppliers in India to offer competitive prices to customers in the country.

By Prasanth Katam

US retail major Walmart is looking to forge a series of partnerships with small and medium suppliers in India to offer competitive prices to customers in the country.

The partnerships will be across product categories and are expected to drive prices down by 10-15%, compared to currently available products and brands, reported The Economic Times.

Commenting on the strategy Bharati Walmart MD & CEO Raj Jain reportedly told the newspaper that the company’s plan is to go deeper into the Indian retail market by keeping the front-end retail prices on the lower end of the spectrum.

"We will find suppliers, and make it together. There are so many categories where brands are not important, but functionality is.

"Ninety-five per cent of what we sell is locally produced and sourced. We totally believe in sourcing more from within the country, which is a purely economic model," added Jain.

Jain added that the strategy is consistent with its global practices as well as its wholesale business model.

Walmart and Bharati Enterprises currently operate the cash and carry enterprise Bharti Walmart that offers private labels such asGreat Value (for FMCG products like tea, snacks, ketchup, staples, dishwash bars), Equate (personal care products), George (western clothing), Astitva (ethnic Indian wear), Home Trends (home furnishings and decor), Mainstays (home needs), Kid Connection (toys and other children’s items) and Athletic Works (sporting goods).

The retailer is looking to source products within a 100km radius of a store to further cut costs on transportation and logistics.

Walmart is expected to file an application before the country’s Foreign Investment Promotion Board within the next one-and-a-half month and is hopeful of opening its first retail outlet over the next 18 months.