US-based retail biggie Walmart has bolstered the local micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) procurement ahead of Diwali, a senior company official said here today.
“We are getting good ‘Diwali’ response as we expand our basket of locally-sourced goods in Uttar Pradesh and other states, especially for Diwali gifting,” Walmart India vice president (Operations North) Vijeet Singh Shekhawat said in Lucknow this afternoon.
He said the company was sourcing a range of food items made in UP, including pickles, wheat flour, jams and sweet items, apart from traditional handicraft goods such as brassware from Moradabad and aluminium items from Hathras. Indigenous goods were also being sourced from Jaipur, Panipat, Sholapur and Ahmedabad, among other places.
“During this Diwali season, the MSME procurement is in focus as we also look at strongly pitching our private labels across different products,” Shekhawat said, adding currently 98 per cent of sourcing by Walmart was being done locally.
Meanwhile, Shekhawat said Walmart had completely phased out single-use plastic packaging from its private brands following the Centre's green initiatives.
“We are also working actively with our suppliers to ensure total compliance with the norms relating to the use of plastic material in packaging of products,” he said.
Walmart India is the wholly-owned subsidiary of Walmart, the world’s leading retailer. In India, it operates 27 Best Price Modern Wholesale stores across 9 states with an integrated omni-channel format. It has also opened 2 Fulfillment Centres at Mumbai and Lucknow, which exclusively caters to small kirana stores, retailers and institutional customers at their doorsteps.
Last year, Walmart India president and CEO Krish Iyer had said the company envisaged total store count of almost 45 in about 3 years.
In UP, Walmart operates four stores in Lucknow, Meerut and Agra even as it is actively exploring opening new stores in other major towns such as Varanasi, Gorakhpur, Moradabad, Kanpur, Ghaziabad, Saharanpur and Prayagraj (Allahabad).