New Delhi | Jagran Business Desk: Walmart, the world's largest retailer, has laid off around 50 of its India executives as part of its restructuring in the country, sources with direct knowledge of the development told Reuters. The move underscores the struggles the e-commerce giant has faced in expanding its wholesale business in India.

The US-based company currently operates 28 wholesale stores in India where it sells goods to small shopkeepers, and not to retail consumers.The lay off mostly affected executives in company's real estate division. This is because the growth in the wholesale model has not been that robust, two of the sources said.

"It's happening because focus is shifting to e-commerce rather than physical (stores)," a source told the news agency.

Walmart did not respond to a request for comment.

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The company has placed bold bets in the country's e-commerce sector. In 2018, it paid USD 16 billion to acquire 77 per cent stake (a majority) in India's online Flipkart, its biggest acquisition.

Another source with the know-how added that while Walmart could slow down the pace of opening new wholesale stores. The focus will increasingly be on boosting sales through business-to-business and retail e-commerce.

Some of the executive were fired last week and more could be let go on Monday, two sources said.

In a statement to Economic Times, Walmart said it was always looking for ways to operate more effectively and that "this requires us to review our corporate structure to ensure that we are organised in the right way to best meet the needs of our members".

The US-based company has nearly 600 staffs in its head office in India out of total of around 53,000 aross the country, one of the source added.

Last year, the German lender Duetsche Bank had laid off some of its employees as a part of sacking 18,000 employees globally. 

Posted By: James Kuanal