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Auchan plans to set up 60 stores in India: Sharma

Last Updated: Wednesday, April 3, 2013 - 21:13

New Delhi: France based Auchan, one of the world's largest hypermarket chains, has plans to open 60 stores in India, Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma said Wednesday.

Global Chairman of Auchan Vlanney Mulliez had on Tuesday called on Sharma.

"(Officials of) Auchan group met us yesterday...They want to open 60 stores in India," he said when asked if there was a need to review policy on FDI in multi brand retail as foreign investments are not coming in the segment.

It could not be immediately known whether Auchan plans to open stores on its own or through a franchise route.

Auchan has 13 hypermarkets in India operating under a franchise agreement with Max Hypermarket India.

The Minister, who was talking to reporters on sidelines of AGM of CII, further said global companies like Tesco have filed application to establish sourcing bases in India.

"We have got a letter from Carrefour," he said, without giving further details.

Sharma said the government only makes policies and it is up to global firms to decide on their choice of local partners.

Meanwhile, a senior official said the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) is likely to take up the IKEA's Rs 10,500 crore worth FDI proposal to set up stores in single brand retail.

The Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) has already cleared the proposal. But since the proposed investment is more than Rs 1,200 crore, the application of the Swedish furniture major requires approval of CCEA as well.

If cleared by CCEA, it will be the largest FDI proposal in the single brand retail.

Talking to reporters after meeting Sharma, Mulliez had said Auchan was very enthusiastic about the Indian market.

"And of course the new regulations (FDI in multi brand) is a new issue for us. So we are considering explaining our ambitions and seeking for some advice in order to address the best way this huge potential market," he had said.

He remained non-committal when asked if Auchan would open stores in India through FDI route.


First Published: Wednesday, April 3, 2013 - 21:13
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