Carrefour shutters Indian wholesalers; may pave way for Walmart

French retailer Carrefour will close all five of its Indian wholesale stores. Currently, Walmart partners with similar cash-and-carry stores in India and the closures could open the door for the retailer's expansion there.

The move is part of Carrefour's plan to exit underperforming markets and focus on domestic business, reports Reuters. Carrefour, the No. 2 retailer in the world by sales, has operated in India since 2010. It's unclear if the retailer has found a buyer for the Indian stores.

India's retail market has held a lot of potential for foreign companies since it opened its doors to international retail in 2012. However, the $500 billion retail sector still cannot be tapped into without the blessings of individual Indian states, especially when it comes to global chains. Thus far, the only international chain that has made it through these hurdles is British supermarket operator Tesco.

Last year, Walmart called off its plan to open stores in the country. Instead, the retailer is going through local wholesalers to strengthen its e-commerce venture in India.

"The closure of Carrefour's business in India will be effective at the end of September 2014. Until that time, the company will continue to be fully engaged with all its employees, suppliers, partners and customers to ensure a smooth transition," Carrefour said in a statement.

For more:
-See this Reuters article
-See this Business Standard article

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