(Reuters file)
(Reuters file)

Walmart ranked as India's top retailer: Report

  • Walmart topped the rankings in India for 2018, after it acquired internet retailer Flipkart last year in a $16 billion deal
  • Walmart is followed by Amazon, which according to the report titled Top 100 Retailers in Asia 2019, is India’s second-largest retailer

New Delhi: US retail giant Walmart is India’s top retailer, according to a study by Euromonitor International tracking Asia’s largest retailers.

Walmart topped the rankings in India for 2018, after it acquired internet retailer Flipkart last year in a $16 billion deal. Walmart is followed by another US giant—online retailer Amazon—that according to the report titled Top 100 Retailers in Asia 2019 is India’s second-largest retailer.

Kishore Biyani’s Future Group ranked third, followed by Reliance Group that has formats across electronics, apparel, and grocery retail, among others. Tata Group that runs formats such as Westside, and Croma, among others, ranked fifth. These retailers saw no change in their rankings in 2018.

Across Asia, China’s Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, owned by Chinese billionaire Jack Ma topped the rankings, followed by JD.com Inc, and Japan’s Seven and Seven & I Holdings Co Ltd that owns the popular 7-Eleven convenience stores.

“Both store-based and non-store retailing in India continued to see strong current value growth in 2018. However, consumers’ habits are changing. Many urban households are adopting more modern lifestyles, especially in big cities such as Bangalore, Mumbai, Pune, Delhi and Hyderabad. This behavioural change is impacting retailing in the country," Euromonitor analysts said in the report.

To be sure, India is still a large traditional retail market, which means households here still flock to their neighbourhood grocer to buy goods of daily use. Such shops form the backbone of retail trading in India.

But shoppers in urban areas are getting more sophisticated and have over the last decade taken to large format departmental stores for their monthly shopping trips.

"Due to households’ hectic lifestyles and the busy schedules of working adults, most consumers in urban areas prefer to make their monthly purchases in modern grocery retailers instead of traditional grocery retailers," the report added.

Moreover, modern grocery retailers are capitalising on this behavioural change by developing new marketing schemes and strategies to attract households to their stores, Euromonitor analysts noted.

They said digital payments offered by retailers, as well as offering multi-channel presence that helps shoppers shop across channels such as online and offline is helping modern retail formats gain popularity in India. “The leading store-based retailers are increasingly deploying a multichannel presence and are investing heavily in developing online platforms that are also smartphone- and tablet-compatible to drive internet sales. As a result, many retailers have integrated multichannel retailing into their operations.

Internet retailers, on the other hand, the report added, are also expanding into the store-based channel by opening brick-and-mortar stores."

Other retailers in India’s top ten rankings include: One97 Communications, Avenue Supermarts that runs D-Mart; Aditya Birla Group, Landmark Group, and K Raheja Corp.

Euromonitor conducted research for the 2019 edition of the report in 100 countries. It researched 15 Asia Pacific economies in the third quarter of 2018.

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