In an attempt to ramp up its business in the cash-and-carry segment and also enter food retail segment if the government eases norms, global retail giant Walmart is planning to open 50 new stores in India, half of which will be located in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
Times of India, in its report, cited sources saying that Walmart, which currently has 20 stores across the country, is planning as many stores in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, where BJP recently registered a thumping win.
In addition, Walmart is planning to open 10 stores each in Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. Also, it is eyeing two more stores in Lucknow, in addition to Ghaziabad, Noida, Kanpur, Allahabad, Haridwar, Dehradun and Haldwani.
This may also open over 40,000 job opportunities in UP and Uttarakhand as the company provides direct and indirect employment to 2,000-2,500 persons in each of its stores.
Sources said that the company sees enormous opportunity in UP and Uttarakhand as there is little competition from other retailers like Metro AG and Reliance, operating in the cash-and-carry format.
Cash-and-carry stores are wholesale outlets, which are only allowed to sell to retailers, canteens and hotels.
“Our commitment to the country is very deep and we are growing our footprints in India further by opening 50 more cash-and-carry stores in next few years across key focus states, including AP, Telangana, UP, Uttarakhand, Haryana, Maharashtra etc. Our development team is growing this store pipeline for last couple of years and we're confident of continuing our contribution to the creation of thousands of skilled jobs, helpings kiranas, farmers & SME suppliers succeed through our cash & carry business,” a Walmart spokesperson was quoted by Times of India as saying.
The 50 new stores are expected to open in the next 3-4 years.
However, the company is awaiting clarity on the food retail guidelines as it does not want to limit itself to domestically produced and manufactured food products.
“As we've said earlier, allowing 100% FDI in food retail is a very progressive step, but having a certain percentage of non-food items in this policy will make it economically viable,” said the company’s spokesperson.