Walmart to open 50 new stores in India

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Hyderabad, April 29 (IANS) Global retail giant Walmart will set up 50 new stores across India, including 10 in Telangana, over the next three to four years, a top company official said on Saturday.

The US retailer signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Telangana government for the 10 stores.

It will invest $10 to $12 million in each store, which would create direct and indirect employment for 2,000 people.

Walmart currently has 21 stores in India, including one in Hyderabad.

Spread over 50,000 to 60,000 square feet, each store serves 300,000 customers including 30,000 kirana shops.

Walmart executives and Telangana government officials signed the MoU in the presence of state Industries Minister K.T. Rama Rao, President and CEO, Walmart Canada and Asia, Dirk Van den Berghe, and President and CEO Walmart India, Krish Iyer.

Dirk said Walmart was committed to India and the country with its efficient economy was an important market for them.

Stating that Walmart has presence in 28 countries, he said it would continue to invest more in India in local communities, build businesses, train people and develop suppliers.

Krish Iyer said four of the 10 new stores planned in Telangana would come up in Hyderabad.

Walmart is looking at Tier-II cities like Warangal, Karimnagar and Nizamabad to open the new stores.

He said the company would work with kirana shops, hotels, restaurants, caterers, offices and institutions to help them grow their business by selling them merchandise of highest quality at low prices.

Walmart is currently sourcing 97 percent of the products within India. As much as 15 percent of its merchandise is sourced from the region where its store is located.

He said under direct farm programme, Walmart will work with small and marginal farmers and offer training and education to all stakeholders in the value chain. It will also work for the economic empowerment of women and launch its women entrepreneurship development program.

K.T. Rama Rao said Telangana government would soon come out a retail policy to help build a proper solid base for opening more retail outlets in the state.

He said the government was in talks with various retail players and they were seeking specific retail policy to help them with speedy clearances and incentives.

Later, talking to reporters, Rajneesh Kumar, Senior Vice President and Head Corporate Affairs, Walmart India, said their focus in South India would be on Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.

The company has already signed a MoU with Andhra Pradesh.

In north India, Walmart is focusing on Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab. It already has MoUs with Haryana and Punjab.

Maharashtra is another state that Walmart will be focusing on for its expansion plans.

–IANS

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