French retailer Auchan has signed a franchise agreement with Max Hypermarket to enter India with its retail operations, the companies said on Monday. The two plan to open 12-15 store across the country.
Max, run by Dubai-based Landmark Group, operates 13 hypermarkets in India. These stores will be rebranded “Auchan” in the fourth quarter of the current fiscal year. At present, FDI norms in India do not allow global hypermarket and supermarket chains such as Wal-Mart Stores and Carrefour SA to set up shop. Landmark operates hypermarkets under the Max brand only in India and so it is not restricted under foreign ownership regulations.
In December, the government backtracked on its decision to allow such chains to own 51% in the country’s multi-brand retail sector after a huge political backlash. Max Hypermarket had a partnership with Dutch food retailer SPAR international BV which ended earlier this year.