Almost eight years after it first started scouting for opportunities in the country’s most populous state, German business-to-business wholesaler Metro Cash & Carry has set foot in Uttar Pradesh, opening its first outlet in the state capital Lucknow.
The store, which will be inaugurated by chief minister Akhilesh Yadav on Thursday, will be Metro’s 23rd store in India. The 55,000 square-foot outlet located on Faizabad Road has seen Metro investing approximately R60 crore and would provide close to 300 direct and indirect jobs to the local economy. So far, Metro has 14 stores spread across 10 states.
According to Arvind Mediratta, managing director, METRO Cash & Carry India, Uttar Pradesh is a very critical market for Metro as it is the largest state in terms of population.
“We see a lot of potential in Uttar Pradesh and see Metro having as many as 20-25 stores in the state in the long run. And in our roadmap of having 50 stores across the country by 2020, we see at least 5-6 coming up in the state,” he said, adding that Uttar Pradesh represents a vast and exciting market for Metro.
“Modern trade is estimated to grow over three times in the next 5 years, with the development of infrastructure and small and medium industries, which are seen as the backbone of social, economic and industrial development. Hence we see great potential in the UP market and plan to have a greater presence here in the future,” Mediratta said.
Speaking to FE, Mediratta said land is the biggest problem and all approvals and licences, too, take a lot of time. “In fact, we are also looking at opening more than one store in Lucknow,” he said.