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05 May 2014

Metro to fast-track India expansion, plans 50 stores by 2020

Germany's Metro Group plans to triple the number of wholesale stores in to 50 by 2020, identifying the country as one of its key growth markets.

Metro will renew its expansion drive for India where its sales division, Metro Cash & Carry, has been active since 2003, the group said in a statement.

India will now become one of the key expansion countries at the German trade group. At present, Metro runs 16 distribution centres in 12 cities across India, it added.

"India has always been an important future growth market of Metro and we have seen continuous like-for-like growth recently in India. Now we decide to inject extra momentum into our expansion course there to operate 50 distribution centres by 2020," said Olaf Koch, Chairman of the Management Board of Metro AG and Chief Executive Officer of Metro Cash & Carry.

He said India joins , and Turkey as one of the four focus expansion countries in the group's portfolio.

Metro Cash & Carry India Managing Director Rajeev Bakshi said the company has been consolidating its market position by translating its understanding of the customer into daily practices, tailored projects and innovations.

"Metro has established itself as a responsible and relevant member of the community. This provides a firm foundation for us to switch our expansion into the fast lane now," Bakshi added.

Metro Cash & Carry has developed its local distribution network in India over the past decade, supplying a range of customers from small kirana stores to hotels and restaurants.

The company's expansion plan comes on the heels of the decision by Wal-Mart Stores Inc last month to focus on the cash-and-carry business in India, with plans to open 50 more wholesale stores, besides starting online sales.

US-based Walmart had broken up with India's Bharti group from their cash-and-carry joint venture last year and chose not to enter the multi-brand retail segment.

The BJP, widely seen as the favourite to come to power after the ongoing general elections, has said it opposes foreign direct investment in multi-brand retail. It had cast a shadow on UK-based Tesco's JV with Tata group firm Trent Ltd to operate multi-brand stores in India.

The UPA government allowed up to 51 per cent FDI in multi-brand retail in September 2012.

Source: Business Standard

http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/metro-to-fast-track-india-expansion-plans-50-stores-by-2020-114050501158_1.html

 

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