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Metro AG plans to double its presence in India

Posted by retailigence on September 25, 2008

Germany’s Metro AG aims to double the number of its cash-and-carry centres in India, a senior official said on Thursday, as global rivals draw up their plans to tap the fast-growing economy.

Metro, Germany’s biggest retailer, plans to invest $120 million in at least four new wholesale cash-and-carry centres in the eastern state of West Bengal, Henry Birr, the firm’s vice president of international affairs, said at a news conference. It has four other centres in India, which only allows foreign multiple-brand retailers to operate via wholesale or franchise and licence arrangements.

“We see the same growth potential in India as in China,” Birr said. In West Bengal, the company was waiting for the state to issue licences so it can deal in agricultural produce that it can source directly from farmers, Birr said. Metro, one of the earliest entrants in the sector in India, has been measured in its approach.

Its global rivals have recently struck deals to enter the market, estimated at about $350 billion, and widely forecast to nearly double in size by 2015. Wal-Mart Stores Inc , which has a venture with Bharti Enterprises, plans to open its first wholesale centre in India next year, and aims to roll out 10-15 centres over seven years.

Britain’s Tesco Plc last month said it would set up its first wholesale centre in India towards the end of next year, while Carrefour has also said it plans to enter.

Source: Economic Times


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