Wal-Mart Stalls Expansion to India

July 7
9:44 PM 2013

Last September. India announced that it would allow foreign supermarket chains to take majority ownership of their Indian operations. This marked a victory for Wal-Mart Stores that had spearheaded efforts to open the Indian market. The company also planned to open its first retail store in India within two years.

However, two sources said that the Arkansas based Wal-Mart stalled its plans to open its Indian unit before March 2015. Wal-Mart said that it would need 12 to 18 months approval from the government before it can open its first store. This would mean that the first retail outlet in the country would open by 2016 at the earliest.

On the other hand, Bharti Enterprises, the local partner of Wal-Mart, said it has reconsidered its commitment to their joint venture. This was after given the heavy requirement for investment and distant prospect returns according to four sources with direct knowledge of the matter.

Bharti denied reports of planning to exit the tie-up with Wal-Mart. Bharti added that it remains its full commitment to the joint venture. A spokesperson from Wal-Mart declined to comment.

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