To invest Rs.2,400 cr on new stores in the next four years

German retailer Metro Cash & Carry on Thursday said it planned to open 8-10 stores in the country every year in the next four years at an investment of around Rs.2,400 crore.

“I think the time for expansion has come. We will open 8-10 stores a year in the next four years in larger towns with a population of more than a million people,” Metro Cash & Carry Managing Director Rajeev Bakshi told reporters here.

“We normally invest about Rs.60 crore on our stores, and in Mumbai it is even higher,” he added.

Explaining the expansion plan, he said the firm would open a store in Jalandhar in December, one in Delhi in January and another one in February at an undisclosed location. The company on Thursday today opened its eighth wholesale distribution centre in India at Borivali in Mumbai, built at an investment of Rs.120 crore.

The new centre will offer tailored assortment of 10,000 products (food and non-food) to business customers in Borivali, including hotels, restaurants, caterers, traders and small offices, the company said. The distribution centre was spread over four acres and has a selling space of about 60,000 sq. ft., Bakshi said.

On the expansion plans in Maharashtra, he said, “there are other places like Nagpur, Thane and Nashik. There are no firm plans to open stores here but they are under consideration.”

Asked if the company will get into business to consumer space, he said, “our core business is cash and carry. Internationally our focus has been on cash and carry. We think in India cash and carry is a bigger opportunity. So we are not interested in this short-term to get into B-2-C segment.”

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