Walmart Looks to Further Expansion in China, India

Walmart Stores (NYSE: WMT) is looking for retail acquisitions in China, and is furthering talks with Bharti Enterprises, its retail partner in India.

Even though Walmart has nearly 400 stores in China, it wants to build market share in cities where it is not the top or second retailer, Scott Price, chief executive of Walmart's Asia division, told The Wall Street Journal.

In China, Walmart is ranked second behind China-based Sun Art Retail Group Ltd. Plus, China Resources Enterprises, a Walmart competitor that operates more than 4,100 retail outlets in China, recently added 131 stores by forming a joint venture with Tesco PLC.

Retail observers say Walmart is facing competitive pressure in China because, essentially, its prices are not low enough for the country's shoppers.  U.S. consumers may consider Walmart to be the cheapest place to shop, but Chinese consumers--who bargain shop online and in mom-and-pop shops--don't feel the same way, Shaun Rein, founder of Shanghai-based consulting company China Market Research Group, told The Wall Street Journal.

Meanwhile, Walmart is focusing on another lucrative market: India. Bharti and Walmart are in talks to expand the number of units they operate in the country. The two jointly run 20 shopping membership club-style stores in India.

However, the retailers' expansion slowed last year when Bharti faced two government investigations and conducted an internal investigation on possible violations of U.S. anti-corruption laws in India.

For more, see:
This The Wall Street Journal article
This Bloomberg article

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