France's Carrefour to enter India's retail sector

21st November 2007, Comments 0 comments

21 November 2007, NEW DELHI - France's Carrefour SA, the world's second largest retailer, plans to enter India's fast-growing retail market by 2009, reports said Wednesday.

21 November 2007

NEW DELHI - France's Carrefour SA, the world's second largest retailer, plans to enter India's fast-growing retail market by 2009, reports said Wednesday.

Carrefour has floated two separate units in India -- Carrefour WC & C India Pvt. Ltd and Carrefour India Master Franchise Co. Pvt. Ltd -- to carry out its plans, the reports said.

An Indian franchisee will open Carrefour brand hypermarkets in the country and Carrefour's 100-percent-owned cash-and-carry stores will feed them, Herve Clec'h, Carrefour India managing director, told the Mint business daily.

"We're talking to three very willing Indian partners who will bring dimension to the business in a country the size of India," Gerard Freiszmuth, Carrefour India general manager, was quoted as saying by Mint.

Carrefour officials in New Delhi were not immediately available for comment.

At the moment India allows foreign retailers to own 100 percent cash-and-carry subsidiaries that sell to businesses. It does not allow full ownership of retail stores selling to individuals.

"We have identified three potential companies for a joint-venture in India, and would choose one in the first quarter of 2008," Clec'h was quoted as saying by the Economic Times.

In April, Carrefour said it had put on hold plans to invest in India due to concerns over domestic political opposition to multinational retailers, saying it was seeking more clarity on the situation.

Clec'h said Carrefour aimed to fit into the Indian landscape and would "adapt to the local market learning from Indian partners, employing Indian people and selling Indian products."

"China, which has over 100 Carrefour stores, will be the benchmark for India," Clec'h told the Economic Times. "We are Chinese in China, Brazilian in Brazil and want to be Indian in India."

Earlier this year US giant Wal-Mart teamed up with Indian mobile phone giant Bharti Enterprises in a joint venture for a new chain of wholesale stores to serve Indian retail shops.

Top foreign retailers have been jostling for a slice of what has been dubbed India's great "retail rush" as the country's fast-growing middle class splashes out on purchases.

AFP

Subject: French news

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