Whad’ya know? Wal-Mart is not only the company that had failed internationally before – readers of this blog know about the retail giant’s epic blunders in Germany or South Korea – it is also a company that seems to be able to learn from experience after all. Wal-Mart had long eyed the Indian market as it had seemed to offer great opportunities – a very fragmented retail sector and a huge number of current and emerging consumers. It was for that reason that Wal-Mart had entered a partnership with Bharti, and Indian conglomerate a number of years ago. In 2013, however, the marriage of the giants broke apart among allegations of bribery and a legal environment that was very unfavorable for foreign retailers. Rather than to pull out, Wal-Mart has learned its lessons and changed course. In August 2015, Wal-Mart will open its first new Best Price Modern Wholesale store – not a retail store for consumers but a wholesale store for retailers. There are no legal restrictions for foreign companies to operate wholesale stores, and there seem to be other benefits as well – Wal-Mart is being a good corporate citizen by not competing with small, independent retailers. Quite to the contrary, as the Los Angeles Times recently reported, Wal-Mart is actually making the lives of these stores easier by providing them with a one-stop-shop opportunity for all their sourcing needs. Wal-Mart has learned, and it believes that it can open around 50 of the new wholesale stores within the next five years in India. Well done, Wal-Mart!
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