French retail chain Carrefour said it would roll out its fourth cash-and-carry, or wholesale, outlet in India this week. The company is planning to open a store in Agra in a few days, a Carrefour spokesperson said, replying to a questionnaire sent by Business Standard.
The euro 81-billion retail group had opened a store in Meerut, another town in Uttar Pradesh, in October. It had launched its first India store in New Delhi in December 2010, followed by Jaipur around 2011-end.
On the company’s rollout plans for cash-and-carry stores in 2013, the spokesperson said, “Carrefour is not used to talking on the places till we are ready for opening.” There’s no FDI cap in cash-and-carry business, and international chains such as Carrefour and Metro have been operating in this category without an Indian partner. The largest retailer of the world, Bentonville-based Walmart, however, is in a 50-50 joint venture for the cash-and-carry business in India.
Even as the Union cabinet permitted 51 per cent FDI in multi-brand retail in September, no international chain is yet to announce India plans or make an application to the Foreign investment promotion board. That includes Carrefour.
When asked whether Carrefour was in talks with any Indian company for a foray into multi-brand retail in India, now that the policy had the nod of both the houses of Parliament as well, the company spokesperson refused to comment.
Walmart, in a 50-50 joint venture with Bharti Enterprises, set up its first cash and carry store in India in 2009 and now has a total of 20. Bharti Walmart has opened five outlets in the country this year so far. Germany’s Metro began India operations in 2003 and has 14 stores in all. Metro too has opened five stores in 2012 till now.