Metro Cash & Carry’s maiden outlet in city open tomorrow

A year after French retailer Carrefour SA forayed into the India retail market by opening Delhi’s first multi-brand wholesale retail shop,the German retailer,Metro AG,is ready to open its first store in the Capital on Thursday.

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published: February 22, 2012 6:02 am

A year after French retailer Carrefour SA forayed into the India retail market by opening Delhi’s first multi-brand wholesale retail shop,the German retailer,Metro AG,is ready to open its first store in the Capital on Thursday.

The store will operate out of a mall in East Delhi’s Karkardooma area. Metro AG officials said Delhi was a challenge as it was a “tough market”.

“Delhi is a very exciting market. Customers are quality-conscious and aware of global trends and,at the same time,there is a very solid traditional distribution system in place,” said Rajeev Bakshi,Managing Director of Metro Cash & Carry,India.

With a business-to-business model which sells in bulk to a few,the retail outlet at Aggarwal Fun City Mall will offer a tailored assortment of 10,000 products (food and non-food) to a target group of business licence holders in Delhi. The outlet will stay open 365 days a year,from 6 am to 10 pm,and company officials feel that maintaining the supply chain would be the most challenging task in determining its success in Delhi.

With a vast experience in dealing with diversity — Metro Cash & Carry has over 700 stores in 30 countries and nine in other Indian cities — the retailer proposes to offer a “glocal” solution to Delhiites.

“Our business model is to make the local trader a strong part of the distribution channel and only distribute on their behalf. Most of our supply would be procured locally,except for some items such cheese,olive oil,exotic food items,etc.

To help the local business grow,the company has a two-fold approach — of supporting the local suppliers and helping the local shopkeepers grow,” said Vishal Sehgal,the company’s Head of Corporate Relations.

He said the company would conduct supplier training programmes in Delhi in order to support and guide the various target groups including traders,chefs,restaurant owners,caterers and dhabas.

“Over 10,000 trader support and partnership programmes,also known as ‘Bandhan’ programmes,have already been conducted across the country. Over 200 shopkeepers and small traders in the city attended the first such training programme recently. Through the initiative,we aim to build a deep level of engagement with our customers and empower the traditional neighbourhood shopkeeper to remain competitive in the changing economic scenario,” Sehgal said.

The programme,he said,helps traders improve their profitability by addressing crucial issues that impact their day-to-day business — such as planning and redesigning the display of their goods,managing stocks efficiently and becoming more customer-friendly.

Metro Cash & Carry entered the Indian market in 2003 with its first store in Bangalore. At present,it operates nine wholesale distribution centres — two each in Bangalore,Hyderabad,Mumbai and Punjab,and one in Kolkata. It’s next store,in Jaipur,is slated for an April opening.

The German retailer is among a slew of multi-brand foreign retailers,including Walmart Stores Inc. and Carrefour SA,which have entered the India’s retail market pegged at Rs 18 trillion annually. In India,100 per cent FDI is allowed in wholesale cash-and-carry trade. Up to 51 per cent FDI is also permitted in single-brand retail trade. Such investment,however,is not allowed in multi-brand retailing.

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