Hyderabad: Retail giant Wal-Mart India Pvt. Ltd, a subsidiary of Wal-Mart Stores Inc., signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the government of Telangana on Saturday to set up 10 cash-and-carry stores across the state in the next five years.
The company, which currently has 21 operational stores in India, will also open another 50 stores during the same period, said company executives.
“Ten stores is a big commitment. Four of them will be set-up in Hyderabad, while the others will come up in districts of Karimnagar, Nizamabad and other places,” said Krish Iyer, president and CEO, Wal-Mart India.
The company will invest between $10 to 12 million per store.
Dirk Van den Berghe, executive vice-president and president and CEO, Wal-Mart-Canada and Asia, who was also present at the event, said that the retail giant wants to invest more in local communities and it has a presence in 28 countries across the world.
“The state under the leadership of the Chief Minister will also bring out a new retail policy soon to do business easily. It will have a heavy focus on better facilitation and speedy clearances,” said Telangana information technology (IT) minister K.T. Rama Rao.
He added that Wal-Mart’s forte is to start new stores in Tier-2 and 3 cities or small places. Rao also mentioned that the state government will soon establish farmer organisations, and hoped that Wal-Mart India can also help small marginal farmers across Telangana.
“We see double-digit growth in India in the coming days. The retail sector is a $600 billion sector of which 8% organised trade and 92% traditional trade,” Rajneesh Kumar, senior vice-president and head, corporate affairs, Wal-Mart India.
Around 92 % of the retail industry comprises ‘Kirana’ stores, which Wal-Mart India with its cash and carry model is looking to serve them, said Kumar. “There are a lot of approvals to set-up new stores. Ideally it takes us 2 to 3 years to start a new one. If there is a good retail policy, then the time can be crunched,” he added.
The first and only Wal-Mart cash and carry store was opened in Hyderabad in 2012.
Metro Cash and Carry India Pvt. Ltd, the local arm of the German retailer, has 23 stores in India and plans to open 50 stores by 2020, increasing its share of the $2-billion organized wholesale cash and carry market, its CEO Arvind Mediratta told Mint in an interview in March.