Bharti Wal-Mart to roll out first store in May

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Bharti Wal-Mart Pvt. Ltd, a joint venture between Bharti Enterprises and Wal-Mart Stores Inc, will open its first wholesale cash-and-carry store in Amritsar in May, Bharti Enterprises vice-chairman and managing director, Rajan Bharti Mittal told NewsWire18 on Monday.

“In all, three cash-and-carry stores will be opened this year (2009-10, Apr-Mar), all in the north,” he said on the sidelines of the national executive meeting of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry.

Bharti Enterprises and Wal-Mart Stores had set up the joint venture company in August 2007 for wholesale cash-and-carry and back-end supply chain management operations in India.

Bharti Retail, another Bharti Enterprise subsidiary, has opened 26 stores in Punjab and Haryana so far, and will soon venture into Rajasthan and National Capital Region, he said. Bharti Retail opened its first store in April last year. The company is not fast-tracking retail store rollouts despite fall in rentals over last few months.

“Rentals have come down 25-30 per cent already. But that’s not the only factor. Fixing back-end is more important. Further, there have been delays in real estate projects as well,” said Mittal.

He also said there has been some slowdown in sale of lifestyle products over the past few months, but consumer goods of ‘day-to-day’ usage have not been affected much.

Source: LiveMint

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