Home >companies >Carrefour chief may visit India this week for retail alliance: report

New Delhi: Top executives of French retailer Carrefour SA are likely to visit India this week, led by chief executive and chairman Georges Plassat on Friday, signalling a possible alliance with a domestic firm, the Business Standard newspaper reported on Tuesday.

Carrefour is in advanced talks with K. Raheja Group-promoted HyperCity Retail (India) Ltd chain of supermarkets for a possible alliance, people close to the development said, requesting anonymity.

The French retailer already operates five wholesale stores in India, a segment where the government allows 100% foreign direct investment (FDI). It is now seeking to establish a franchise agreement with the Mumbai-based group, the people said.

The move would make Carrefour the second foreign retailer after Tesco Plc to establish a supermarket alliance in India. The world’s largest retailer Wal-Mart Stores Inc. withdrew from its joint venture with Bharti Enterprises last year, delaying the former’s plans to open retail stores in Asia’s third largest economy.

Carrefour had earlier been in talks with Kishore Biyani-promoted Future Group, which runs the Big Bazaar chain of stores, but nothing came of it. In a recent interview, Biyani denied speculation over the group’s association with a large foreign chain.

In September 2012, the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government relaxed norms governing multi-brand retail in India. Barring Tesco that announced $110 million investment with the Tata Group, others are yet to finalize investment plans for the country.

Modern retailers have been cautious about launching operations in India because of political uncertainty over India’s policy on overseas investment in supermarket chains. Some opposition parties have rolled back support to the opening up of such stores in states such as Rajasthan and Delhi in the past month.

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