India’s largest e-commerce firm Flipkart is offering a deal of a different kind now. Flipkart is hawking warehouse space once occupied by WS Retail, which at one point accounted for nearly 80% of total sales on the Flipkart platform, to companies in return of “priority” seller status on the marketplace, three top executives at fashion.
A Flipkart executive, meanwhile, said that the company is offering warehouse space owned by its logistics arm, eKart. According to industry executives, the space has become vacant as Flipkart cut its reliance on WS Retail, which was originally partnership-owned by the e-commerce company’s founders Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal.
A top executive of a company said “They have already spent money on the infrastructure and warehouses are lying empty because WS Retail is not buying goods anymore,” that Flipkart had approached for warehouses in the Delhi region and Hyderabad.”. They want us to use that infrastructure. They are telling large dealers to move into their warehouses and they say they will guarantee and will give priority on their platform.
Several other top executives ET spoke to said Flipkart is trying to fill the gap created by WS Retail by enrolling some large third-party vendors to sell prominent brands on the marketplace. There’s no clarity over warehouse space left vacant by WS Retail. Analysts assume it to be quite substantial.
In a response through email to Inc42, eKart spokesperson said, “In the last one year, we have significantly expanded the warehouse space used by our sellers to 1.5 Million square feet. This capacity spread across the country, uses automation and technology to provide fast and seamless service for both our customers and sellers. As an extension, we are now in the process of opening warehouse services to companies so that they can use this to address their supply chain requirements.”