France-based Carrefour, the second-largest retail chain in the world after Walmart, plans to open its first wholesale cash-and-carry store in the country at Seelampur in Delhi in the next two to three months.
''We have already started receiving very good response from the supplier side,'' said Jean Noel Bironneau, general manager, Carrefour India. It will be a 55,000-sq ft store and source 90 per cent of its products within the country. It will have over 30,000 products varieties, he said.
When asked about future expansion plans, Bironneau said, ''We are working out plans to open a second store very soon, but we cannot give a definite figure on the number of wholesale cash-and-carry stores we are looking at. We want to take it one at a time and will provide products at the best price to suppliers.''
A Reuters report quoting unnamed sources says the company will open three or four other wholesale outlets around the country by year-end. It has signed a 20-year lease with developer Parsvnath for 100,000 square feet in New Delhi for its first wholesale outlet.
Carrefour has been looking to break into fast-growing but restrictive Indian market for seven years, and has secured properties in New Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad. It will soon sign for one in western Mumbai, the report says.
India allows 100-per cent foreign direct investment (FDI) in the wholesale cash-and-carry trade, where the foreign company can only supply goods to other retailers, not market them directly.