Indian Walmart stores have strict membership rules, locally sourced fruits and vegetables and sacks instead of shopping bags.
All of these differences have been incorporated by Walmart managers to appeal to foreign customers – and it has become the key to their success abroad.
Here’s a look at what it is like to shop at Walmart in India.
The first Walmart in India opened in 2009.
Locally known as Best Price, the stores may look similar to their counterparts in the US, but they operate quite differently.
Walmart in India has adapted to the demands of its customers by providing items based on their needs.
The store offers special Indian food products including tea, flour, recipe mixes and pickles.
Best Price takes their membership very seriously. Shoppers need to apply for a membership for both online and offline shopping before they can purchase anything.
Members then need to show their membership card before they can enter the store…
… and when they check out at the billing counter.
Customer service is superb. The stores have multiple employees in every aisle to help customers understand offers and locate the products they’re looking for.
Special offers and discounts are routinely announced on loudspeakers across the store.
Walmart India makes it a point to provide competitively priced regional products that are sourced based on local demand.
Indian spices and food products that cater to the average Indian consumer are readily available.
The company also takes great care to ensure fresh fruits and vegetables are sourced directly from farmers across the country, thereby providing a popular inter-regional supply chain.
Chicken and other raw meat and dairy products are stored in separate freezing rooms to maintain freshness and quality.
Best Price stores offer products in different sized packs, from small purchases to big packages, to fulfil the needs of a variety of customers.
The store also has multiple “Try, Buy and Save” stands throughout stores where customers can try a food product before buying it.
Once customers leave the store, they are given cartons, ropes and sacks to pack and carry their purchases home.
Walmart had a rocky start in India. Protests erupted in 2007 when Walmart made a deal with Beharti Group to build 15 stores. Many feared the proposed wholesale outlets would negatively affect local business.
Source: New York Times
Thanks to local sourcing and Walmart’s many initiatives focused on enhancing skills training, environment sustainability, female empowerment and community development, company disapproval has lessened.
Walmart has also incorporated Indian culture into their stores. Best Price locations are decorated for Indian holidays and offer additional seasonal discounts.
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