Latest News
News Feature image

We look at Spark Delivery, a new last-mile delivery program from Walmart, that is being piloted in Nashville and New Orleans.

More News

Walmart has completed the acquisition of Flipkart, India’s leading ecommerce business, following plans announced earlier this year. The retailer is now the largest shareholder in the Flipkart Group.

Walmart takes 77% share of the business

Flipkart is India's largest online marketplace. Founded in 2007, it sells 8m products across 80 categories. It has 100m registered users, 100,000 sellers, operates 21 warehouses and generates 10m daily page visits. In the fiscal year ended March 31, Flipkart recorded GMV of US$7.5bn and net sales of US$4.6bn with 50% year-over-year growth. Under the terms of the deal, Walmart now holds approximately 77% of the Flipkart. Other key shareholders include co-founder Binny Bansal, Tencent, Tiger Global Management and Microsoft. Flipkart’s existing management team will continue to lead the business, while Tencent and Tiger Global will remain represented on the board.

Transforms Walmart’s presence in India

The deal transforms Walmart’s presence in India, having initially entered the market in 2007 through a joint venture with Bharti. This led to the establishment of Best Price Modern Wholesale stores, which Walmart has continued to operate since the partnership was dissolved in 2013. Although Walmart has often spoken about expanding the network of 21 stores, there have been relatively few new openings over the last few years. Both companies will retain their unique brands and operating structures in India going forward.

Accelerating investment to capitalise on growth opportunities

The deal provides Walmart with an opportunity to capitalise on the significant growth opportunities in India. With a population of over 1.3bn, strong GDP growth and growing smartphone, internet and ecommerce penetration, Walmart will look to accelerate growth in the market. The retailer’s investment includes $2bn of new equity to support this.

Optimising Flipkart’s ecosystem expertise

The deal is not just about accessing the ecommerce opportunities in India, but also optimising Flipkart’s expertise in ecosystem development. It provides Walmart with access to the retailer’s logistics arm, Ekart, and payments platform, PhonePe. In other high priority markets, including the US and China, Walmart also has access to many of the fundamental elements required for broader ecosystem development. Transferring learnings from Flipkart could help accelerate its progress in this area.

Related content


Walmart and Flipkart: a supply chain perspective
We look in more detail at Flipkart, its supply chain operations and why Walmart has chosen to invest.

 


 

Customer centric
Customers are evolving faster than ever. Truly understand the customer and use this to drive action that pulls the supply chain forward.

 


 

Walmart hub page
Supply Chain Analysis subscribers: visit the Walmart hub page for the latest news and insights.

 


 

Walmart and JD.com have invested US$500m to further strengthen their online grocery delivery and logistics firm Dada-JD Daojia.

Boosting online to offline experience

Dada-JD Daojia offers delivery services to around 100,000 retail stores in China. It partners retailers to offer one-hour delivery for groceries and other items via its network of 5 million bike and scooter riders.

Building on existing relationship

Walmart has invested around $320m in Dad-JD Daojia this month, which is the latest development of several years of investment: in 2016, the retail giant invested $50m in the delivery business. Around 200 of Walmart’s stores in China are already serviced by Daojia.

Enhancing omnichannel footprint

Wern-Yuen Tan, President and CEO of Walmart China, said, "We are confident that this deeper collaboration with Dada-JD Daojia will enhance our omnichannel footprint and deliver a better O2O customer experience."

Related content


The perils of China’s e-commerce expansion
Supply Chain Analyst, Suzannah Murphy, looks at the challenges and opportunities that arise from China's exponential online growth.


Customer centric
Customers are evolving faster than ever. Truly understand the customer and use this to drive action that pulls the supply chain forward.


Walmart hub page
Supply Chain Analysis subscribers: visit the Walmart hub page for the latest news and insights.


Walmart is partnering with Alert Innovation to pilot an in-store robotic picking system for grocery ecommerce orders.

Alphabot: how it works

The Alphabot technology is to be piloted at a supercenter in Salem, New Hampshire. The technology, which has been developed specifically for Walmart, will be housed in a 20,000 sq ft extension connected to the store. This will also serve as a dedicated grocery pickup point. The Alphabot technology will automatically bring items from storage to store associates who will consolidate the items in the order. Most grocery products offered in-store will be fulfilled through this system, although Walmart’s personal shoppers will continue to select produce and other fresh products.

Source: Walmart

Repurposing store space

The Alphabot will enable Walmart’s associates to have more time to focus on service and selling, creating a more compelling pickup experience. If this pilot proves to be successful, we would not expect to see the technology installed across the network, as one supercenter is likely to be able to serve a wide catchment.

Digitising the in-store environment

This new technology is the latest element of Walmart’s plan to digitise the in-store environment. The retailer is currently testing the use of automated in-store scanning tools, or ‘robots’ to help prioritise which areas of the store require replenishment. Bossa Nova scanners help identify where in-stock levels are low, prices are incorrect, or labels are missing. In addition, the scanners provide a real-time view of inventory in the store; the information is used to direct associates to the areas of the store that need the most attention.

Building an in-store technology ecosystem

Linked to this, Walmart is currently testing a new system in backrooms, FAST. This automatically scans and sorts items based on priority and department, allowing associates to spend less time unloading trucks in the backroom and more time on the sales floor. When combined with data from the Bossa Nova scanner, Walmart can move relevant inventory from the back room to the sales floor more quickly; out-of-stocks are sorted by the machine for prioritisation.

Testing and learning with grocery ecommerce fulfillment

Walmart continues to innovate with ecommerce fulfillment models. As part of this, Walmart is rolling out ‘Pickup Towers’ to more than 500 additional stores this year. This will bring the total to around 700, reaching 40% of the US population. These provide shoppers with a fast and easy way to collect their online orders in-store. The retailer has also been testing an automated pickup kiosk for groceries in Oklahoma. This year it is rolling out home delivery to 100 metro markets in the US, working with a range of delivery partners, while earlier this month it announced plans to work with Waymo to test driverless vehicles for online deliveries. The retailer also continues to test a ‘Pickup and Fuel’ concept, while in Bentonville, it continues to operate a grocery pickup dark store.

Range of solutions being deployed in the US market

What is interesting about the US market is that several different fulfilment models are being used, or under development. Beyond the traditional in-store picking model, these include distribution centre-based solutions such as Kroger Ship, relationships with third-party on-demand services such as Instacart and Shipt, and Ahold Delhaize’s ‘wareroom’ model. Recently Kroger announced a strategic partnership with Ocado to deploy its robotics-based solution for grocery ecommerce.

Presentations

25/05/2018
An essential summary of supply chain priorities, latest network developments, and other key statistics for Walmart.
10/05/2018
Following months of speculation, Walmart has agreed to invest US$16 billion in India’s leading ecommerce retailer, Flipkart, giving it a 77% stake in the business. This report looks in more detail at Flipkart, its supply chain operations and why Walmart has chosen to invest.
13/12/2017
We present IGD’s top five online trends that we expect to develop and shape the global market over the next 12 months and beyond.

An essential summary of supply chain priorities, latest network developments, and other key statistics for Walmart.

Walmart is renewing its focus on its core US operations with a back to basics approach that focuses on price, availability, range, service and execution. 

Get the latest headlines delivered directly to your inbox every Thursday.

A practical one day workshop for all roles in suppliers, to help develop your understanding of the vital part that supply chains play in underpinning FMCG businesses.