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.
Walmart Inc. clinched a deal Thursday to acquire 73 percent of e-commerce company Flipkart, which is currently one of the biggest players in Indian market. Google's parent company Alphabet Inc. also participated in the deal, which valued Flipkart at between $20-22 billion. The move, which has been termed one of the biggest acquisitions in the world's second-most populous country, and is the biggest ever by Walmart, would see the retail giant spend at least $14.6 billion (up to $16 billion) in a cash-and-stock buyout. Alphabet is investing $3 billion in the deal, though the exact details of its involvement were not clear. "Everything has been finalised… The papers have been signed by both the parties," Factory Daily quoted an unnamed source, referring to Flipkart and Walmart.
Walmart announced plans on Wednesday to buy a 77 percent stake in Flipkart, Amazon's main e-commerce rival in India. The same day, eBay announced that it was selling its minority stake in Flipkart and relaunching its own operations in the country. With those moves this week, India's $27 billion online retail market got a little more crowded as the some of the world's largest e-commerce giants--Amazon, eBay, Alibaba, and Walmart--jostle for dominance. Many analysts are predicting that India, the world's second most populous country, will soon see a huge boom in its e-commerce markets. Morgan Stanley, for instance, predicts that the country's market will grow more than 1,200 percent to $200 billion by 2026.
Flipkart announced on Thursday it has acquired Walmart India to bolster its wholesale marketplace operations, and in doing so, has made plans to launch a new digital marketplace next month. The new digital marketplace, called Flipkart Wholesale, will provide wholesale goods to kiranas in India. Kiranas are independent retailers and small businesses, similar to neighbourhood stores, that sell a variety of retail products. "Kiranas and MSMEs are central to India's retail ecosystem and Flipkart Wholesale will focus on meeting their needs by providing small businesses a wide selection at significant value, powered by technology to make their lives easier," Flipkart said. With the acquisition, Flipkart said its supply chain will be strengthened due to the addition of Walmart India's 5,000 employees and its 28 member-only Best Price stores.