There is a sickness in brick and mortar retail, and we need to understand what is causing it. The latest earnings put out report by Walmart is a poignant indicator on why it has been aggressively pursing India's largest (or second largest, depending on whom you believe) e-commerce outfit, Flipkart. Most worryingly for Walmart, its e-commerce sales have begun declining, thanks to a slowdown in online orders, which is tantamount to death for an old-economy company trying to battle a new-economy retail leviathan that is Amazon. Walmart has been desperately trying to transform its loyal offline shoppers into online ones, because they apparently shell out twice as much and, as the Bloomberg article observes, gravitate toward bigger-ticket items. There are, of course, other obvious benefits toward beefing up its online presence: Reduced rents, working capital, and employee costs to name just a few.
Walmart (NYSE:WMT) has agreed to purchase a 77% stake in India's leading e-commerce company, Flipkart, for $16 billion. Walmart is buying out shares from existing investors, but several key companies are keeping their stakes, including Tencent (NASDAQOTH:TCEHY) and Microsoft. This article originally appeared in the Motley Fool. Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) -- the No. 2 e-commerce company in India -- was also reportedly interested in buying a majority stake in Flipkart, but the Indian company feared regulators wouldn't approve such a deal. Walmart, by comparison, has an extremely small presence in India -- 21 stores.
FILE - In this July 7, 2017, file photo, Flipkart Group Chief Executive Officer and co-founder Binny Bansal poses during a photo call at the company's headquarters in Bangalore, India. Bansal, the co-founder of Flipkart, the massive online retail operation in India acquired by Walmart this year, is stepping down following an allegation of serious personal misconduct. Walmart, which purchased a $16 billion controlling stake in Flipkart Group in May, said Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2018, that an independent investigation done on behalf of both companies did not find evidence corroborating the allegation against Bansal, but it did reveal lapses in judgment on his part.