The world’s second-largest retailer, Carrefour on Thursday opened its first cash-and-carry store in the country. The new store in New Delhi’s Seelampur, spread across 5,200 square metre, will house over 10,000 stock-keeping units to cater to professional businesses, institutions, restaurants and local retailers.
“The opening of this first store (in New Delhi) 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, CEO, Carrefour.
Carrefour is understood to be in advanced stage of talks with Future Group to enter the multi-brand retail segment. The two companies could sign a deal as early as next year. At present, the government does not permit foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail, as it is feared that traditional kirana (mom-and-pop) outlets would be wiped out.
The opening of the first store was essential to allow Carrefour’s teams to fully understand the modalities of doing business in the India market before building the company’s presence in other formats, Olofsson said. The company however, did not disclose investment details.
The government currently allows 51% FDI in single-brand retail and 100% in the cash-and-carry segment, but none in multi-brand retail.