PARIS — Carrefour SA has opened its first store in India as part of a growing focus on major emerging markets, amid continued sluggishness in the mature economies that account for the bulk of its sales.

This story first appeared in the January 3, 2011 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Carrefour, the world’s second largest retailer behind Wal-Mart Stores Inc, said it would open a 56,000-square-foot cash-and-carry store in New Delhi under the Carrefour Wholesale Cash & Carry banner.

Lars Olofsson, chief executive officer of Carrefour, said this would be followed shortly by further openings of cash-and-carry stores, the only multibrand format that foreign groups are allowed to operate in India.

“This first step is essential to allow the Carrefour teams to fully understand the specificities of the Indian market and then build our presence in other formats,” he stated.

Carrefour’s share price has fallen 18 percent in the last six weeks, after the company issued a profit warning following larger than expected one-off charges in Brazil resulting from an audit and weak performance in France and Southern Europe.

The New Delhi store, located in the city’s Shahdara neighborhood, will offer 10,000 stockkeeping units in food and nonfood to businesses, institutions, restaurants and local retailers.