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Carrefour opens first store in India

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Carrefour, the world’s second-largest retailer, today opened its first cash-and-carry store in India in New Delhi. The store, Wholesale Cash&Carry, is located in the Seelampur area, east of New Delhi in the Shahadara neighbourhood.

“The opening of this first store marks Carrefour’s entry into the Indian market and will be followed shortly by the opening of other cash-and-carry stores,” said Lars Olofsson, chief executive officer of Carrefour.

The store, which has a merchandise area of about 5,200 square metres, offers more than 10,000 stock keeping units in the food and non-food products to independent retailers, businessmen, institutions and local restaurants.

The Paris-based retailer was recently in news about its plans to enter the country’s multi-brand retailing through a joint venture with India’s largest retail group, Future Group. The two groups are considered to be in an advanced stage of talks.

But the country’s current regulations don’t allow foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail to safeguard the interests of traditional general (kirana) stores. The current policy of the Indian government only allows foreign groups to develop cash-and-carry format. The Indian government allows 51 per cent in single-brand retail and 100 per cent in the cash-and-carry segment, but none in multi-brand retail.

Accordingly, the world’s largest retailer, US-based Wal-Mart, entered into a joint venture with Bharti Enterprises in 2007 to set up their ‘Best Price Modern Wholesale cash and carry store’ in Amritsar in May 2009. They have four such stores in the country and are planning to open 15 more.

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