Walmart shifts to India from China for cheaper imports

Walmart is importing more goods to the United States from India and reducing its reliance on China as it looks to cut costs and diversify its supply chain, data seen by Reuters shows.

The world’s largest retailer shipped one quarter of its U.S. imports from India between January and August this year, according to bill of lading figures shared with Reuters by data firm Import Yeti. That compared with just 2% in 2018.

“We want the best prices,” Andrea Albright, Walmart’s executive vice president of sourcing said in an interview. “That means I need resiliency in our supply chains. I can’t be reliant on any one supplier or geography for my product because we’re constantly managing things from hurricanes and earthquakes to shortages in raw materials.”

In a statement, Walmart said the bill of lading data painted a partial picture of what it sourced and that creating redundancy “does not necessarily mean” it was reducing reliance on any of its sourcing markets. “We’re a growth business and are working to source more manufacturing capacity,” Walmart said.

India has emerged as a key component of Walmart’s efforts to build that manufacturing capacity, Albright said.

Walmart has been accelerating growth in India since 2018, when it bought a 77% stake in Indian e-commerce firm Flipkart. Two years later, it committed to import $10 billion of goods from India each year by 2027. That is a target it remains on track to hit, Albright said. It is currently importing around $3 billion worth of goods from India each year.

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Sydney Okafor

I am so passionate about this my profession as a broadcast journalist and voiceover artists and presently a reporter at TV360 Nigeria

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