INDIA: Wal-Mart outlines India expansion plans
Wal-Mart has announced the opening of 50 cash-and-carry stores in India
Wal-Mart has revealed growth plans for its wholesale store division in India including the opening of additional stores and an extension of its B2B e-commerce platform.
The world's largest retailer said it is pleased with the way its cash-and-carry business has grown in the country and will therefore "continue to invest in and expand this established business".
In October, Wal-Mart took control of the Best Price Modern Wholesale chain in India after the end of its venture with local conglomerate Bharti Enterprises. Wal-Mart had said it would keep the business but had put its expansion plans on hold after bribery allegations rocked its business in India last year.
However, the retailer plans to open 50 Cash and Carry stores over the next four to five years and continue to invest in its supply chain infrastructure and supplier development.
"Wal-Mart is committed to India and we are excited about our growth plans," said Scott Price, president and CEO of Walmart Asia. "We will continue to focus on the Cash and Carry format as we are very happy with the way it has shaped up in the last few years.
"Along with our growth, we are taking a number of important steps to strengthen compliance so that we do the right thing everyday. We are evaluating and reinforcing procedures and programs relating to all compliance areas, including licensing and permits, food safety, and responsible sourcing among others."
The news follows reports at the end of last week that the Indian party tipped to lead the country's next government, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), plans to ban foreign supermarkets from entering its retail sector.
In email correspondence to just-food today (14 April), when asked what the news would mean for Wal-Mart India's expansion plans, a spokesperson said: "we have no further comment on the terms of the transaction beyond the information we have already disclosed".
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