Walmart looks forward to opening 50 new stores across India. Half of the stores will be in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. Walmart will implement the plan in the next three to four years. Then there will be no dearth of jobs in Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh.
In India, the giant retailer operates 21 stores, which go by the name Best Price Modern Wholesale. They operate in the cash-and-carry segment. In this form of trade, wholesale outlets sell goods from warehouses. Thus, they sell products to canteens, hotels, and retailers as stated by inc42.
Walmart will locate ten stores each in Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Telangana. Walmart’s India Spokesman told the Times of India that the company has a deep commitment to the country. They hope to grow their footprint in India in the coming years by focusing on key states such as AP, Telangana, UP, Uttarakhand, Haryana, and Maharashtra.
Walmart hopes that the expansion plan will create thousands of jobs for skilled workers. They aim to help farmers, kiranas or small businesses, and SME suppliers, to succeed. Other locations to host the stores include Allahabad, Dehradun, Ghaziabad, Haldwani, Haridwar, Kanpur, and Noida. Two stores will be in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh’s capital. It is the largest city in the state and the twelfth most populous urban agglomeration.
A regular Best Price cash-and-carry store covers an area of over 50,000 square feet. It offers more than 5,000 items in different product categories. Some of the popular categories include dairy (milk and milk Products), appliances, general merchandise, household electronics, and consumer packaged goods (food & non-food).
Best Price stores source about 90- 95% of the products locally. This promotes the growth of the local economy. It leads to the creation of job opportunities and reduces running costs. Through the Private Label Program, Best Price stores also help ‘kiranas’ or small business to compete and thrive in the modern retail.
Walmart will hire about 2000-2500 people in each store. Thus, these translate to thousands of new jobs in UP and Uttarakhand in the coming years.
Walmart is facing one obstacle in its expansion plan. It is waiting for the Indian Government to clarify the retail food guidelines. With carry and cash stores, Walmart is limited to products produced or manufactured locally. They wish to also source products from elsewhere. However, this move could affect Mom and Pop stores. Thus, the government is still hesitant.
In February 2017, reports emerged that Amazon has applied for an approval to invest $500 Mn in a wholly owned subsidiary in India. The company will stock foods produced locally and sell them online. India’s government gave the Seattle-based e-commerce giant a nod to continue with the venture.
To some extent, the government is open to Foreign Direct Investments (FDI). If the government relaxes the rules for non-food items, it could make the new stores economically viable.
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