BENGALURU (Reuters) – India’s Flipkart launched an online wholesale service for mom-and-pop stores and other small businesses on Wednesday, as the Walmart-owned firm seeks to better compete with Amazon and other players in a battleground market for e-commerce.
“Flipkart Wholesale”, also available as a smartphone app, currently sells apparel in the cities of Bengaluru, Gurugram and Delhi. It plans to expand to 20 more cities and also offer groceries by the end of the year, Flipkart said in a statement.
It also hopes to list more than 200,000 products in two months and have 50 brands and 250 local manufacturers in the next few days, the company added.
Flipkart, majority-owned by Walmart Inc, bought the U.S. retail giant’s wholesale business in India in July.
Amazon.com Inc and other e-commerce players including online grocery upstart JioMart – backed by billionaire Mukesh Ambani – have been wooing India’s mom-and-pop stores, considered the backbone of the economy.
Ambani’s Reliance Industries Ltd has raised over $20 billion this year from global investors including Facebook and Alphabet’s Google for its digital arm, which is expected to support JioMart.
“Flipkart Wholesale” will face competition from similar services from Amazon and other firms including Tencent-backed startup Udaan.
(Reporting by Sachin Ravikumar; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri)