Wal-Mart ready for multi-branded retailing if rules eased

Wal-Mart ready for multi-branded retailing if rules eased

New Delhi: The world’s largest retailer, Wal-Mart, on Tuesday said it is ready to enter multi-branded retail segment in India within a year of any government decision to open up the sector to foreign direct investment.

“In case the government decides to allow FDI into multi-branded retailing we will be happy to participate in it. We can set up our chain of stores in a matter of months...a maximum of one year," Wal-Mart India president Raj Jain told reporters here.

The Bentonville-based retailing giant’s statement comes in the wake of the Indian government considering easing norms for FDI in multi-brand retailing in India.

Jain said the company wants the government to liberalise the FDI regime in retail in the country and has conveyed this to the concerned authorities several times.

“Our supply chain is getting ready. It is difficult to say what the government has in mind but we would want it to open the multi-brand retail sector (for FDI)," Jain said.

Under current rules, foreign players can hold a maximum of 51% stake in single-brand retail entity, while FDI in multi-brand segment is prohibited.

Wal-Mart currently operates in India under a 50:50 joint venture with Bharti Enterprises in the cash-and-carry wholesale segment where 100% FDI in allowed.

The JV, Bharti Walmart Pvt Ltd, has two outlets and plans to expand to 15 stores across the country within three years.

Jain, who is also the managing director and CEO of the JV company said the cash-and-carry business in progressing well and on schedule.