France’s Carrefour to quit India: reports

NEW DELHI, May 3, 2014 (AFP) – Carrefour, the world’s second largest retailer, is working on a plan to exit India, media reports said Saturday, amid political uncertainty about the future of multi-brand retail in the South Asian giant. One of the few foreign retailers to commit to India recently is Britain’s Tesco, which has declared it will invest in India since the Congress government relaxed the FDI rules. Tesco has struck a deal with India’s giant conglomerate Tata to invest in a dozen stores in India.

Another is Swedish giant Ikea, which plans to open 25 stores as part of a wider push into emerging markets.

But while foreign supermarkets hold back from India, domestic chains such as Future Group and Aditya Birla Retail are rapidly expanding.

The growth of the domestic chains underlines the potential of a big-spending middle-class — expected to cross 250 million people by 2015, consultancy McKinsey estimates.

In March, Carrefour reported a rise in profit and said its effort to turn around its French operations were starting to show results. The reports in the Times of India and Business Standard and other dailies come as the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), tipped to win India’s marathon general electio