The RPG Enterprises-controlled Spencer’s hyper mall at Rashbehari Avenue in Kolkata was inaugurated after the management and agitating hawkers’ unions reached a consensus. Kolkata mayor Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya had convened a meeting with both parties to resolve the issue.
The store was to be inaugurated last Friday, but hundreds of protesting hawkers and shop owners prevented it from opening.
Local councillor and leader of hawkers’ association, Debasis Kumar, had set conditions for Spencer’s to follow for opening the mall. According to Kumar, Spencer’s has agreed not to sell less than three kilograms of vegetables, six kilograms of potatoes and onions, one litre of oil, and 500 gram of masala. Also, Spencer’s will retail only branded and packaged rice and pulses. “They have also agreed to offer local employment. We have therefore decided to allow them to open the store,” Kumar informed.
The mall was inaugurated by a customer. “The opening of the store was delayed by a few days due to apprehension by hawkers, but we do not compete with them as our customer profile is different from theirs,” informed Pravin Dalal, VP (Operations) at Spencer’s.