Walmart to open 50 new stores in India in 4-5 years

New Delhi, May 10: A day after announcing $16 billion investment in India’s largest online retailer Flipkart, Walmart Inc on Thursday said it will continue to grow its wholesale cash-and-carry business, adding 50 new stores in the next four-five years.
“We currently have 21 stores and plan to open 50 stores in 4 to 5 years. Plans are on track,” Walmart India president and CEO Krish Iyer said at a select media roundtable called to explain the Flipkart deal.
Walmart chief executive Doug McMillon said Flipkart, in which the US retailer is acquiring 77% stake, would continue to operate as a separate board-managed company with co-founder Binny Bansal as the CEO.
Flipkart gives Walmart an online presence. So far it had been handicapped by India’s retail policy that does not allow overseas companies to sell directly to consumers (except in wholesale cash-and-carry segment).
Companies like Flipkart and Amazon operate as e-commerce marketplaces—a segment where 100% foreign direct investment (FDI) is allowed.
“As we speak, we have a pipeline of 20 stores and we expect to open 5 stores in the current year and then pick up pace and eventually start opening 12-15 stores a year,” Iyer said.
For the cash-and-carry business, Walmart currently operates in 9 states and 19 cities and the future expansion is focused on more or less the same geographies.
“We are not spreading thin. We are continuing in same geographies but primarily focus is on Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Uttrakhand, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana,” he said.