Continuing with its cautious expansion in India, US-retail giant Walmart will open the next cash-and-carry outlet only in 2017 and is zeroing in on Punjab for the same.
The company, which had opened its 21st store in India in August - after a gap of over two years - at Agra, had stated that it would open 50 wholesale outlets in the country within the next 4 to 5 years.
“We are working on several (sites) right now. We have signed quite a few properties. I do expect the next one will be in Ludhiana in Punjab,” Walmart India President & CEO Krish Iyer told PTI.
Asked when the next cash and carry outlet is expected to open, he said: “Currently we are in the process of working out single window clearance with the Punjab government. When all of that is taken care of, all it takes is two years... so around the first half of 2017.”
Although there is a ‘lot of competition’ among states for the next store, Iyer said, “I do expect a little bit of a headstart in Punjab.”
Walmart had paused expansion in India in 2012 when it was investigating violations of the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act at its Indian arm.
It had also called off a six-year partnership with Bharti Enterprises in 2013 and decided to operate cash-and-carry stores independently in India.