U.S. retail giant Wal-Mart Stores plans to add 50 new wholesale stores in India as it seeks growth in a key market where it has been unable to launch retail stores.
Walmart said it will open the new “cash and carry” stores over the next four to five years, adding to its 20 existing stores.
It also plans to extend its e-commerce platform to members of the existing stores, which operate under the name Best Price Modern Wholesale.
“Walmart is committed to India and we are excited about our growth plans,” said Scott Price, chief executive of Walmart Asia.
“We will continue to focus on the cash and carry format as we are very happy with the way it has shaped up in the last few years.”
The stores serve bulk customers, often small store owners, who pay up front in cash rather than credit.
The move comes as Walmart has put aside plans for a retail chain of stores in the giant market.
Last October, Walmart ended a joint retailing venture with Indian firm Bharti. The U.S. giant said the Indian government imposed untenable requirements foreign investors seeking to enter the business.
But its expansion into retail also faced resistance from local competition, with some Indian lawmakers complaining that Walmart’s entry would hurt “mom and pop” stores.
The company was also investigated for bribery, but the probe was shut reportedly because no evidence was uncovered.
[Image via Agence France-Presse]