Walmart sacks staff in India as part of restructuring

Walmart India. Photo: Walmart
Walmart has faced challenges when attempting to expand its wholesale business in India. Photo: Walmart
By Reidar Molthe

16 January 2020 13:57

Walmart sacks staff in India as part of restructuring

Walmart Inc., the world’s largest retailer, has fired 60 or more of its executives in India. The move underscores the challenges Walmart has faced in expanding its wholesale business in the country. More job cuts are expected soon.

The Bentonville, Arkansas-based company currently operates 28 wholesale stores in the Asian country where it sells goods to small shopkeepers, and not to retail consumers, writes Reuters

Reuters reported on Monday 13 January, that the move had mostly affected executives in Walmart’s real estate division, which takes care of store expansion, as the wholesale business model did not bring in expected growth.

Eight of the 60 executives fired were in “senior management” roles and the rest from middle or lower management, Krish Iyer, President and CEO of Walmart India says in a statement:

“We are looking for ways to operate more efficiently, which requires us to review our corporate structure to ensure that we are organized in the right way,” Iyer says, adding the fired executives had been offered enhanced compensation benefits.

Huge investments do no give payback – so far

Walmart has placed bold bets on India’s e-commerce sector. In 2018, it paid $16 billion to buy a majority stake in India’s online marketplace Flipkart, in its biggest global acquisition ever.

Focus is shifting to e-commerce rather than physical stores. A source says Walmart could slow down the pace of opening new wholesale stores in India as it focuses on boosting sales through business-to-business and retail e-commerce.

Iyer, however, declares Walmart remains committed to developing physical stores as well.

“We have recently made significant investments to serve our members better and will continue to do so. This includes investments in our brick-and-mortar stores as well as e-commerce,” Iyer says.

Walmart has around 600 staff in its India head office out of a total of around 5,300 nationally.

Sources: Reuters, Bloomberg, WSJ, Walmart.

This is Walmart in India

Walmart India owns and operates 28 Best Price Modern Wholesale stores offering nearly 5,000 items in a Cash & Carry wholesale format. The company also has three Fulfillment Centers in the country - Mumbai, Lucknow and Hyderabad.

Typical products:

  • Consumer Packaged Goods (Food & Non-Food)
  • General Merchandise
  • Household Electronics
  • Appliances
  • Fresh (Fruits, Vegetables, Poultry, Mutton, Fish)
  • Dairy (Milk and Milk Products)

About Walmart Inc.

Walmart Inc., formerly Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., is engaged in the operation of retail, wholesale and other units in various formats around the world.

The Company offers an assortment of merchandise and services at everyday low prices (EDLP).

The Company operates through three segments:

  • Walmart U.S.
  • Walmart International
  • Sam's Club.

The Walmart U.S. segment includes the Company's mass merchant concept in the United States operating under the Walmart brands, as well as digital retail.

The Walmart International segment consists of the Company's operations outside of the United States, including various retail Websites.

The Sam's Club segment includes the warehouse membership clubs in the United States, as well as

The Company operates approximately 11,600 stores under 59 banners in 28 countries and e-commerce Websites in 11 countries. (Reuters)

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