Global giants like Walmart and Metro Cash and Carry will soon have a new competitor in India’s wholesale retail market.
Thailand-based conglomerate Chorean Pokphand (CP) Group, which operates retail businesses across several Asian countries, is set to open its wholesale cash and carry business in India in the next two months.
Siam Makro, the group’s retail subsidiary, will spend Rs1,000 crore ($150 million) over the next three to five years in India to open 15 cash and carry stores under the LOTS brand name. Unlike multi-brand retail, where the Indian government allows partial foreign direct investment, there are no such restrictions for overseas companies in the cash and carry business, where retailers can sell in bulk.
Siam Makro currently operates over 120 cash and carry stores in Thailand, apart from outlets in China, Myanmar, and Cambodia. CP, the parent company, also manages 11,000 stores for Japanese retailer 7-Eleven in Thailand, making it the largest chain of convenience stores in the country.
Siam Makro is hoping to tap into India’s organised retail trade, which comprises less than 10% of the total $670 billion retail business. Of this, the cash and carry market was estimated at Rs6,800 crore or roughly $1 billion in 2016, according to research and insights firm Nielsen.
“In India, the organised retail sector is already at $60 billion. If we can get even a small part of that market, the country actually has the potential to be…