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NEW DELHI : E-commerce major Flipkart group’s business-to-business marketplace (B2B) Flipkart Wholesale said on Thursday it will triple its reach by July-December 2021, following which the marketplace will serve kirana stores in 2,700 cities across the country.

The company said it will be grow its supplier base by 58% in 2021, having seen its kirana customer base rise 17% year-on-year during January-June 2021, it said in a statement. The projected growth for the second half of the year is seen at 33% year-on-year. The company did not disclose the actual number of kirana partners on its platform.

Flipkart launched Flipkart Wholesale in 2020 after it acquired the cash-and-carry business of parent company, Walmart, under the label Best Price.

“Despite challenges induced by the pandemic, we have seen a strong response from kiranas who are now realizing the benefits of digitization and warming up to e-commerce as the go-to means of purchase," said Adarsh Menon, senior vice president and head of Flipkart Wholesale, in the statement. “We will continue to leverage the technology strengths from the Flipkart group and enhance livelihoods and local supplier ecosystems across the country."

Flipkart Wholesale said it will continue to focus on kirana stores as a customer-segment with bundled credit offers, payment options and a network of cash-and-carry stores, for an omni-channel play.

With its wholesale offering, Flipkart wants to tap into the network of stores being wooed by Reliance’s B2B offering through JioMart, which includes over 3 lakh merchants on its network. Other incumbents in the space include GGV Capital backed Udaan. Tata Digital also plans on entering the space, according to reports.

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