Arun Sudhaman 23 Oct 2013 // 7:55AM GMT
MUMBAI—Walmart has moved its Indian PR assignment to Weber Shandwick, as the world's largest retailer scales back ambitious expansion plans in the country.
Earlier this month, the company announced that it was ending its joint venture with India's Bharti Enterprises.
Walmart is expected to buy Bharti's 50 percent stake in the joint venture, which operates 20 wholesale 'cash and carry' stores, but has struggled to deliver the hundreds of superstores it promised when launching in 2007.
Bharti Walmart's PR business was previously handled by Perfect Relations sister agency Imprimus, which confirmed that the account has moved to Weber Shandwick India.
Like other foreign retailers, Walmart remains stymied by complex government regulations and limited infrastructure.
India's $500bn retail market remains dominated by small operators; just four percent is controlled by Western-style chains and no foreign retailer, such as Walmart, Tesco or Carrefour, has been able to penetrate the market.
Walmart has faced other issues in the country. Last year, the Indian government launched an investigation into allegations that the company circumvented foreign direct investment rules, although recent reports suggest that Walmart will be cleared.
Last November, meanwhile, Bharti Walmart suspended several executives during an internal bribery investigation.