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SBD Global/January 4, 2013/Finance

Decathlon To Expand From Wholesale Operator To Single-Brand Retail Chain In India

French sports goods giant Decathlon "is planning to enter the Indian market as a single-brand retail chain," according to Nivedita Mookerji of the Indian BUSINESS STANDARD. Decathlon "has written to the government proposing to open retail stores in India, similar to the 20 other countries" in which it conducts business. The move marks the first time that a cash-and-carry player has formally sought to do retail in India. Single-brand retail, which until a year ago had a Foreign Direct Investment cap of 51%, can now be fully foreign-owned, "thereby encouraging int'l chains to foray into India." In multi-brand retail, 51% FDI "was allowed recently." So far, "many int'l retail chains operated only in the cash-and-carry category, as it did not impose any FDI limit on companies." Decathlon is "among the largest sports goods retailers of the world," with its annual revenue estimated at more than €6.5B ($8.5B) (BUSINESS STANDARD, 1/3).
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