retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Indian Express reports that the government of India said last Friday "announced a relaxation of the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) norms in the retail sector, allowing up to 51 per cent FDI in multi-brand retail and 100 per cent FDI in single-brand retail. The move enables global retail firms such as Wal-Mart Stores, Tesco and Carrefour to set shop with a local partner and sell directly to consumers for the first time. "

According to , "Global retailers may need to invest at least $500 million over three to five years in the world’s second-most populous nation to expand retail operations across the country."

This shift, the story says, "could transform India's $450 billion retail market" - a market that some believe could expand to $725 billion by 2017.

Until now, foreign companies were only allowed in wholesale stores and joint ventures.

Walmart's existing cash-and-carry wholesale joint venture with Bharti Enterprises in India expects to open between three and five new stores by the end of the year, though it is unknown if this new shift could change its priorities.
KC's View:
Let's see if it sticks this time. The Indian government tried something like this once before, and had to back down because of political opposition.