“We continue to find new category expansion and opportunities to go beyond apparel and home which have been historically sourcing from India.Our sourcing strategy is to have the right product at the right price and make sure they are sourced in a trusted way,” AndreaAlbright, executive VP, sourcing, at Walmart told TOI.
The US-based retailer, which has set a target of sourcing $10 billion worth of goods from India annually by 2027, is already working with suppliers here to source toys, shoes and bicycles.
For bicycles, the firm just announced its first export order with Punjab-based Hero Eco Group, Albright said. “We are working with Micro Plastic on toy exports. We are also exploring all categories of shoes ranging from flip-flops to athletic shoes. We have an order for shoes from India underway,” she added. Walmart has been sourcing goods from India for more than 20 years now and it claims that India-made apparel, jewellery and homeware, among other products, reach customers in 14 markets, including the US, Canada, Mexico and the UK.
The pandemic, Albright said, put forth the fact that no supply chains are strong enough, nudging the company to revamp its strategy and double down on building a more resilient and trusted supply chain.
“Trust is a key factor and component of our brand as well as the resilience to make sure we have got products on the shelves or on the site for customers however they choose to shop….we are a global company and continue to be a global company. There are certain geographies of excellence that are better at making certain items versus others. That will continue to be a part of our (sourcing) strategy as we think about that intersection of trust, value and resiliency of where we get our products from,” Albright said.
When asked if the company was looking at sourcing destinations beyond China, she said that customer interest would be paramount. As part of the India push, Walmart will host its first growth summit in the country in February that will give it an opportunity to partner with Indian suppliers for exports.