Walmart layoffs: US retailer hits brakes on India expansion; fires 50 execs, most from this division

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Updated: January 13, 2020 12:33:07 PM

Walmart India Layoffs: The Indian arm of the world's largest retailer Walmart has fired around 50 of its executives as the company looks to restructure its operations in the country.

Walmart India Layoffs, Walmart India StoresMost of the laid-off employees are from from the company’s real estate division as the growth in the wholesale model has slumped

Walmart India Layoffs 50 Executives: The Indian arm of the world’s largest retailer Walmart has fired around 50 of its senior executives including those from the top management as the company looks to restructure its operations in the country, Reuters reported citing unidentified sources as saying. Most of the laid-off employees are from the company’s real estate division as the growth in the wholesale model has slumped, sources told the agency. The company’s real estate division is responsible for Walmart’s physical store expansion.

Walmart’s India Business

Walmart first entered the India business in 2007 in a joint venture with Bharti Enterprises. The US retailer opened its first store in Amritsar, Punjab two years later in May and while Bharti and Walmart went onto build 20 stores together, they decided to call off the deal in 2013 and then went separate ways. Walmart had partnered with Bharti in hopes of achieving a liberalization of the Indian market. However, the same did not materialise and the deal with Bharti was no longer desirable for Walmart, Scott Price, President and CEO of Walmart Asia had then said, Forbes reported. The US retailer made its comeback in India in 2018 with a deal with e-commerce platform Flipkart. Walmart coughed up $16 billion for a majority stake in the e-tailer.

Meanwhile, Binny Bansal, co-founder, Flipkart recently transferred shares worth an estimated $76 million he held in the e-commerce entity to the US retailer Walmart, according to business signals platform Paper.vc. Walmart backs Flipkart and Binny Bansal’s latest transaction is the fourth in a row as the US-based retailer acquires a controlling stake in Flipkart.

Foreign retailers including Jeff Bezos-owned Amazon and Walmart are facing immense backlash from traders unions as the unions allege foul play from these companies. The Indian government is also reviewing its FDI policy to address the concerns of various stakeholders. Walmart India now owns and runs 28 Best Price Modern Wholesale stores in the country. The company also has three Fulfillment Centres in India in Mumbai, Lucknow and Hyderabad. Other than Flipkart, Walmart also runs operations of fashion e-tailers Myntra and Jabong in the country.

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