METRO Cash & Carry opens first Wholesale Center in Mumbai

Global Leader in self-service wholesale to cater to professional customers

Mumbai, Maharashtra, May 7, 2008 /India PRwire/ -- Today, METRO Cash & Carry, the international leader in self-service wholesale, opened its first outlet in Mumbai at Neptune’s Magnet Mall in Bhandup. The company exclusively caters for professional customers like hotels, restaurants and small retailers like Kirana stores. The assortment and services are tailored to the special needs of this target group. The wholesale center in Bhandup, Mumbai is METRO Cash & Carry’s fourth outlet in India.

“We are convinced that our unique business-to-business concept will be very successful in Mumbai and well accepted by our professional customers“, said Martin Dlouhy, Managing Director of METRO Cash & Carry India. “We see a vast potential for our wholesale centers in this business metropolis. Therefore we are already exploring the possibilities to open further outlets to effectively meet the needs of our customers.”

METRO Cash & Carry wholesale centers are open exclusively for professional customers, all of them duly registered and provided with a customer card. This means that the company does not sell to private end consumers. The core target group comprises hotels, restaurants, caterers as well as Kirana stores and other small retailers. At METRO Cash & Carry‘s wholesale centers they can find everything they need to run their business under one roof. Moreover, the company offers a constant availability of highest quality products at competitive wholesale prices. For instance Kirana stores can use METRO Cash & Carry as their warehouse and utilize their free capital for their businesses, rather than lock it up in inventory. The companies unique business-to-business concept also caters to the professional work schedule with extended opening hours of up to 16 hours a day. “By these means we clearly help our professional customers to increase their competitiveness and thereby strengthen their own business, especially Kirana stores can benefit from our presence”, said Dlouhy.

The METRO Cash & Carry wholesale center in Mumbai has a selling space of 6,500 square meters (70,000 square feet). Most of the work to build this outlet was carried out by local contractors, mainly using local material. Due to scarce availability of appropriate real estate, this is the first time METRO Cash & Carry India has built a multi level wholesale center. It is also a premier for the company to open an outlet in an Indian shopping mall, which was chosen for being in the urban center and thus very close to the customers. “To meet the special needs of our professional customers, we have to prove our flexibility and adaptability – also in terms of the location of our business”, said Dlouhy. On average, a new METRO Cash & Carry wholesale center is an investment of about 20 million Euros (Rs. 1.26 billion). Each METRO Cash & Carry wholesale center, including the one in Bhandup, provides around 450 local direct and indirect employment opportunities.

The product range in the Mumbai wholesale center comprises more than 18,000 articles; 8,000 food and 10,000 non food products. For the convenience of its professional customers METRO Cash & Carry opens from 6:00 am to 10:00 pm. The focus on local suppliers, which is typical for METRO Cash & Carry’s business model, is also pursued in India. Around 95 percent of the goods on display in Mumbai originate from local producers and distributors.

METRO Cash & Carry entered the Indian market in 2003. Besides the new outlet in Mumbai, the company operates two wholesale centers in Bangalore and one in Hyderabad. Thereby METRO Cash & Carry proved to be a close partner of the local economy. The company for instance invested in training programs for more than 40,000 sheep farmers as well as 1,150 fishing crews from India and helped to vaccinate and de-worm around 1 million sheep and goats. Currently METRO is preparing a special Kirana training. The aim is to help them enhance their business by educating them in terms of pricing policy, goods storage, assortment as well as marketing issues and microfinance.

Notes to Editor

METRO Cash & Carry is represented in 29 countries with over 600 self-service wholesale centers. With more than 100,000 employees worldwide, the company achieved sales of € 31.7 billion in 2007. METRO Cash & Carry is a sales division of the METRO Group, one of the most important international trading companies. In 2007 the group reached sales of about € 64 billion. The company has a headcount of some 280.000 employees and operates over 2,200 outlets in 31 countries. The operating business is performed by the sales brands which operate independently in the market: Metro/Makro Cash & Carry – world market leader in cash & carry wholesale, Real hypermarkets, Media Markt and Saturn – market leader in consumer electronics centers in Europe, and Galeria Kaufhof department stores. More information at: http://www.metrogroup.de/.

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