Wal-Mart is setting up shop in India. But wait: you may not yet be able to buy the discounted merchandise the superstores of the world’s largest retailer are famous for.
Wal-Mart on Monday inked a 50:50 joint venture deal with the Sunil Mittal-promoted Bharti Enterprises to set up 10 to 15 giant stores 50,000 sq ft to 100,000 sq ft in size in some of the smaller cities.
The stores will sell stationery, footwear, clothing, consumer durables and other general merchandise. Grocery, vegetables and fruits will also be available.
But only bulk buyers like the neighbourhood kirana stores, big retailers and institutional buyers like hotels, restaurants and offices will be able to buy from these stores. Existing policies allow FDI only in wholesale cash-and-carry business, and not yet in multi-brand retail.
“The first store will open by end 2008 in a tier II city in northern India,” said Raj Jain, president, Wal-Mart India.
India could become a sourcing base for Wal-Mart like China, Jain added. The company sources goods worth $600 million approximately from India. Bharti Enterprises MD Rajan Mittal said the venture would invest in setting up an efficient supply chain.