American retail giant, Walmart, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Maharashtra State Government for retail expansion in the state. Under the MoU, the multinational retailer aims to increase its current store count of 2 in Maharashtra (in Aurangabad and Amravati) to 17 in the coming years.
The agreement was signed in the presence of Walmart officials and Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. Chief Minister’s Additional Chief Secretary Pravinsingh Pardeshi, Additional Chief Secretary (Industries) Sunil Porwal, Development Commissioner Harshdip Kamble and Krish Iyer, India Head, Walmart also attended the MoU signing ceremony.
Walmart will set up the 15 new stores with an investment of about Rs. 900 crore. These wholesale cash and carry outlets will cater to wholesalers in the state. As the current Government laws restrict 100 per cent Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in single-brand retail in the country, various foreign brands are operating in the Indian market through the cash and carry format.
Additionally, an official statement issued by the Chief Minister’s Office informs, “The new Walmart stores will be helpful in creating 30,000 direct and indirect jobs in the state.”
With an aim to open around 50 stores in India by the year 2020, Walmart had also recently signed a deal with Telangana Government to set up 10 stores in the state as part of its expansion plans. The retailer has created ‘clusters’ to focus on different parts of the country. For instance, the first cluster (northern) comprises Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand; Andhra Pradesh and Telangana form the second; while, Maharashtra is the third.
Currently, Walmart India operates around 21 Best Price stores across nine Indian states, offering nearly 5,000 different products.