Walmart Launches BestPriceWholesale.co.in, A B2B Ecommerce Site
Walmart has finally made their ecommerce debut in India. They have launched a B2B wholesale eCommerce site – http://www.bestpricewholesale.co.in/. The products sold on the site are currently available for cities of Lucknow and Hyderabad.
The newly launched site is targeted towards small and medium sized kirana stores in India by offering them access to quality products at the lowest prices. They are tapping the unstructured grocery store segment who are currently not directly serviced by India’s FMCG majors.
Unfortunately, we could not find too many details about the products and their pricing because the site is open only for their registered users who have their membership card. The site does not give out any information unless you are logged in with your 7 digit membership number.
In USA, Wal-Mart has similar offering and operates under the brand name “Sams Club”. The products have wholesale rates and need to be bought in bulk. However, unlike in India, Sams Club is open to end consumers as well.
The site currently offers over 5000 items, across product categories like Fresh (Fruits, Vegetables, Poultry, Mutton, Fish), Dairy (Milk and Milk Products), Packaged foods, commodities, Consumer Goods (Food and Non Food), household items, General Merchandise, Apparel, footwear and Household Electronics and Appliances etc.
As far as sourcing of the products go, BestPriceWholesale directly procures it from manufacturers without any middleman and as they buy in large quantities, they are able to offer the kirana stores with better priced products as compared to distributors.
Apart from low pricing, BestPriceWholesale offers host of other benefits under innovative kirana model “My Kirana” that is tailored for kirana stores to provide them training and insights into areas such as assortment planning, hygiene, in-store displays, inventory management, value added services etc.
Over past 5-6 years, Wal-Mart has been continuously trying to expand in Indian retail market but with little success. Early in 2007, they tried to enter India on their own, and when the plans failed they forged a partnership with Bharti to setup a wholesale cash-and-carry business and supply chain management operations in India. After years of this partnership not going anywhere, Bharti Walmart partnership was annulled.
Last year, they announced that they will be suspending their expansion plans in India and rather concentrate on China. But did a sudden U turn 5 months later when they announced in March that they will soon be launching an online marketplace in India. But now they have launched BestPriceWholesale which is a B2B foray rather than a marketplace.
In our view, this probably is just a start and a pilot to test the eCommerce market before they invest heavily by going the marketplace route.