Is Tesco mulling over Cash & Carry option?

tesco_logoTESCO, the world’s third largest and the UK’s biggest, $80 billion retail behemoth, which recently was pipped to the post by the world’s biggest retailer Wal-Mart, is reviewing other options to enter India after failed talks with Bharati.

If reports doing rounds of the financial media are to be believed, the other option Tesco may be considering could well be the flavour of the season “Cash and Carry” format of retail business. Even, Wal-Mart has opted to enter Indian market through this format, while front-end operations of the business will be allowed to be managed by its alliance partner Bharati Enterprises.

No big ticket global retail player, even when not allowed to carry front end operations by the policy makers, can ignore India because despite widespread poverty, economy of the world’s second most populous nation is growing faster than any other nation except China. And Tesco is no exception as its chief executive Sir Terry Leahy, remains committed to opening in India. Just weeks ago, he stressed that the country was ”top of the list for its global expansion plans after the US, where it would open business next year.”

“We remain excited by the opportunities available in India and continue actively to review how best we might enter the market,” is how a Tesco spokesperson summed up the situation after withdrawing from the alliance talks with Bharati Enterprises.

Incidentally, Tesco, which recently, in an auction, bought eight new outlets from cash-and-carry chain Makro in Malaysia is set to nearly double the same and revamp their operations by pumping in $565 million. According to the Times, the stores will become Tesco Extra hypermarkets and will combine both retail and wholesale sales.

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