Lucknow: Walmart India plans to double its wholesale store presence in the next three years with 20 new stores in the country, said a senior company executive.

Walmart India, the wholly owned subsidiary of US-based retail giant Walmart Inc., had to go slow on its expansion plans for a year, primarily because of compliance and approval issues.

Walmart India currently operates 21 cash and carry stores across 19 cities.

It is expected to add two ‘best price cash and carry’ stores this year, eight in 2019 and 10 stores in 2020 across smaller towns such as Ghaziabad, Muradabad, Kanpur, Varanasi, Saharanpur, Aligarh and Gorakhpur. “In the run-up to 50 stores, we will be nearly doubling our offline presence. And as we accelerate, we will look to integrate more farmers and kirana stores," said Krish Iyer, president and chief executive officer, Walmart India, on the sidelines of opening the company’s second fulfilment centre in Lucknow.

According to Iyer, Walmart India has already signed six memoranda of understanding, while three more are in the pipeline.

While its ‘best price cash and carry’ stores cater to consumer needs, the fulfilment centres act as warehouses for small and medium enterprises, kiranas and farmers.

It is also set to open a fulfilment centre, which is part of a pilot run, in Hyderabad.

“It is important to focus on a customer-centric approach while working on a new concept," Iyer added.

In May, Walmart agreed to buy 77% in online retailer Flipkart for $16 billion.

The reporter was in Lucknow at the invitation of Walmart.