Supermarket giant Tesco is setting its sights on expansion in India as its seeks to strengthen its position within emerging markets, it is understood.
Tesco chief Philip Clarke has met members of the Tata family, with whom the grocer signed a deal to move into the country in 2008, this weekend according to the Sunday Telegraph, as it focuses on increasing its scope across the country.
Last week, the Indian government won a vote in Parliament allowing foreign companies to trade in the country in order to heighten foreign competition and Tesco’s timely move comes just days after the decision was announced.
Tesco has faced a turbulent year of trading as it battles to maintain market share throughout an ongoing price war among Britain’s biggest grocers as they strive to maintain sales during economically difficult times and crashing consumer confidence.
Last Wednesday, the supermarket announced a strategic review of its stateside business Fresh & Easy following news that the arm’s CEO Tim Mason is exiting Tesco after 30 years.
According to the Sunday Telegraph, US-based retailer Whole Foods Market approached the supermarket as a potential bidder prior to the announcement of the appointment of financial advisers Greenhill.
Commenting on plans to grow within the Indian market, a Tesco spokesperson said: “We have already welcomed moves in India to allow foreign investment in multi-brand retail and continue to review the conditions.
“We already have a successful franchise arrangement with Tata’s Star Bazaar stores and we are hopeful that this development will allow more Indian consumers, businesses and communities to benefit from world-class retail investment.”