British TESCO eyeing Mumbai, Bangalore for expansion

Last Updated: Sun, Dec 09, 2012 07:09 hrs

London: British multinational grocery and general merchandise retailer TESCO is focusing on expanding in major Indian cities of Mumbai and Bangalore as part of chief executive Philip Clarke's fight back on growth.

Clarke met members of the Tata family, thought to include Chairman Ratan Tata himself, this weekend to begin making plans for retailers to push into the world's second most populous country.

It comes just days after Indian politicians ended a ban preventing foreign retailers from owning a majority of a domestic retailer, the Telegraph reports.

The news of expansion comes after Clarke admitted that it was reviewing the future of Fresh and Easy, Tesco's troubled US venture.

According to the report, the admission was made as Tesco revealed flat UK performance, with like-for-like sales, excluding petrol and VAT, down 0.6 percent in the 13 weeks to November 24.

Tesco first signed a deal to move into India with Tata in 2008. The 2011 deal aimed at opening 50 hypermarkets under Tata's Star Bazaar brand by 2013.

But the change in the law means Tesco may be able to open its self-branded shops, using Tata as its local partner, the report said.

Clarke is understood to feel that concentrating on Mumbai and Bangalore will allow Tesco to focus its business.

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