Wal-mart India will go ahead with its India plans and open 50 cash and carry stores across the country in the 4-5 years.
Walmart India currently operates about 20 cash and carry stores across India in 8 states. Its first store was at Amritsar, and was opened in 2009.
Walmart had stopped opening new stores in India as a fallout of an anti-bribery probe into its India operations, that began in 2012. Walmart was being probed for violations of the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) . The FCPA keeps US companies from bribing or indulging in corrupt practices with Government officials in any other part of the world.
The go-ahead for 50 stores by the company in India could mean that there is some sort of understanding that may have been arrived at by the US officials and Walmart.
“Along with our growth, we are taking a number of important steps to strengthen compliance so that we do the right thing everyday. We are evaluating and reinforcing procedures and programs relating to all compliance areas, including licensing and permits, food safety, and responsible sourcing among others,” says Scott Price, President and CEO of Walmart Asia.
Walmart also announced the extension of its B2B e-commerce platform to its Best Price Modern Wholesale store members. The online wholesale store will provide a similar line of products as the offline stores as well as special items.
Walmart had recently had plans to set up an e-commerce marketplace in India, that is set to go live in the next 3-4 months. FDI in E-commerce is currently not allowed in India with many stakeholders like Amazon and even Decathlon batting for it.
Decathlon had made a veiled attempt at it through by appealing to the DIPP to let it sell via its online stores. The DIPP had rejected Decathlon’s request. Decathlon already sells its products wholesale online, similar to the move Walmart is attempting.