VISAKHAPATNAM: Walmart India has opened its first B2B Cash and Carry store in the city, with the inauguration of 'Best Price' store, fourth in Andhra Pradesh and 23rd in the country on Wednesday.
"We are planning to expand Walmart with seven more stores in Andhra Pradesh which would be opened in Tirupati, Kurnool, Kadapa, Nellore, Kainada, Vizianagaram, and the second store in Visakhapatnam," Krish Iyer, Walmart India CEO, said.
The 'Best Price' store in the city has integrated with the e-commerce and will facilitate the needs of all kinds of stores such as general stores, hotels, restaurants, houses, and the like. The Walmart will ensure convenient payment options, door-step delivery services which leads to create over 2,000 jobs locally (directly or indirectly), said the CEO.
Iyer further said that the company will invest to develop supply chain and to ensure growth of small and medium manufacturers in the State. Local clusters would be formed to outsource coconuts, melons, red chilli, vegetables, and other agriculture produce directly from the farmers to avoid middlemen. While the farmers get the double price of the produce, but, the price for customers would be best, he said.
Walmart earmarked $4 million in order to improve market access for small scale farmers in the State. The vision is to develop a chain with fruits and vegetable farmers and providing them access for training and more productive crop varieties, said the CEO.
He said the Best Price store will have over 5,000 items on display which include a wide range of fresh, frozen and chilled food items, fruits and vegetables, dry groceries, personal and home care items, hotel and restaurant supplies, apparel, office supplies, electronic goods and other general merchandise items.
Krish Iyer said that they have signed an MoU with Girijan Co-operative Corporation (GCC) to source Araku coffee and other products. He said four of the seven proposed stores would start functioning from next year. Whereas for other stores land still have to be identified which will take three to four years. He revealed that their focus is now on tier II and tier III cities. Punjab has the highest number of Walmart stores now and by next year AP will dislodge Punjab by having more stores, he said.
He said "we got good support from the State government and hence we are expanding our activities in the State."