No plans to open retail stores in India: Sainsbury's
New Delhi: J Sainsbury's plc, one of UK's leading retailers, Wednesday said it has no plans to open its outlets in India, contrary to a claim by India's Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma about the chain expressing interest to set up stores in the country.
"...We have no plans to open stores in India as we are continuing to focus on growing our business in the UK," a Sainsbury's spokesperson told the agency in an e-mailed response.
Yesterday, Sharma had said that global retailers, including Tesco and Sainsbury's, have expressed keen interest in setting up of multi-brand retail stores in India.
"There have been expression of interest...The first step has been taken by Tesco, by Sainsbury's. There has also been an expression of interest but not a formal proposal, from Carrefour, H&M. So they all are coming," Sharma had told reporters.
The Sainsbury's spokesperson, however, said the company is planning to set up a sourcing office in India.
"We source a wide range of products from India and have recently applied to open a sourcing office there, pending approval from the Indian authorities," the spokesperson said.
India had last year opened up the multi-brand retail segment to FDI of up to 51 percent. As per the regulations, foreign retailers planning to enter the multi-brand segment would have to invest a minimum of USD 100 million, with 50 percent of it in the back-end infrastructure.
Since then the notable investment proposal has been from Swedish furniture chain IKEA which had proposed to invest Rs 10,500 crore to set up stores in India. Its proposal is awaiting Cabinet approval.