Bentonville, Ark. – Wal-Mart Stores Inc. reportedly plans to open an additional 40 to 50 wholesale cash-and-carry stores in India during the next four years and also launch an Indian e-commerce operation. According to the Wall Street Journal, Wal-Mart will begin e-commerce sales in India during summer 2014 with one wholesale store offering goods online and delivering them for pickup at other local retailers up to about 25 miles away.
Indian restrictions on foreign direct investment in wholesale retailers are less stringent than restrictions on foreign direct investment in grocery retailers. Wal-Mart, which currently operates 20 wholesale stores in India, is reportedly putting plans to open supermarkets in India on hold until May 2014 parliamentary elections pass. Leading Indian political party Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said in its official election manifesto that it will ban all foreign direct investment into the Indian supermarket sector if it wins a majority stake in the upcoming parliamentary election. BJP is widely expected to take majority control of parliament and the prime minister seat in India’s May 2014 elections.