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Walmart India to Boost 'Kirana' Store Business

Walmart India to Boost 'Kirana' Store Business

Walmart India plans to scale up its family-owned kirana or grocery store program called Mera Kirana, which helps small grocery stores modernize, and make it part of its main business in India. Walmart creates zones in its Best Price wholesale stores that are designed to resemble a modern kirana store. These zones serve as a model for mom-and-pop kirana store owners to replicate when it comes to assortment and placement. The company also sends its staff to such stores to work directly with them.

Of the company’s one million active customer base, 70% are small mom-and-pop kirana stores, though many of these stores are not yet technology-enabled. Rajneesh Kumar, chief corporate affairs officer at Walmart India said, “We’ve seen a lot of loyalty from kirana stores because they understand that we are not just selling to them, we are also helping them become modern. We’ve seen healthy double-digit growth in our membership base year-on-year.”

Best Price Stores, Walmart

Additionally, Walmart India’s fulfillment centers will be housed in warehouses operated by third-party logistics firms, and will be used by Walmart to service kirana stores in the vicinity. “It (fulfillment center) allows us to go to market faster and while store growth will continue aggressively, this is a complementary approach that we are building in to start serving kirana stores faster,” Kumar added.

Last month, Bentonville, AR-based Walmart sealed one of the biggest e-commerce acquisitions in the world by purchasing a 77% stake in Bangalore, India-based Flipkart for $16 billion. It is actively consolidating its hold in the booming Indian market currently valued at $30 billion and expected to reach $202 billion by 2028.

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