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Walmart hopes to open first India store within 18 mths

Press Trust Of India  |  New York 

Walmart expects to open its stores in India within the next 12 to 18 months and is reaching out to the states that are ready to allow foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail.

Walmart Stores President and CEO for Asia Scott Price said in an interview to The Wall Street Journal that “the company is capable of opening stores within 12 to 18 months and would be seeking permission to do so from the states that have already indicated their willingness” to have the US retailer set up shop.

“Two years would be a reasonable time frame in total,” he added.

Showing a resolve for reforms, the government yesterday notified its decision to allow global retail giants like Walmart to open stores in India amid opposition even from its own allies.

With this notification, multinational retailers can invest up to 51 per cent to open stores in 10 states and UTs that, till date, have agreed to implement the decision. These are Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Delhi, Haryana, Jammu & Kashmir, Maharashtra, Manipur, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Daman & Diu and Dadra and Nagar Haveli.

Price, however, said the company had not yet decided where or how many stores it would like to have in India. But he added that his company expected to continue in retail its current partnership with Bharti Enterprises in a chain of 17 cash and carry stores.

Walmart Stores Inc is not in discussion with any other company for a potential retail partnership at present, Price was quoted as saying in the WSJ report.

Price said he was confident that the reform would be permanent and that the company was committed to India’s long-term future.

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First Published: Sat, September 22 2012. 00:34 IST