Bharti Wal-Mart store launch put off in Amritsar following violence in Punjab
With widespread violence in the Sikh-dominated Punjab state, following Sunday's attack on a Sikh temple in the Austrian capital Vienna, the Tuesday launch of the Bharti Wal-Mart wholesale in Amritsar has been put off for the present.
The cash-and-carry store - named Best Price Modern Wholesale - is the first Indian retail joint venture between India's Bharti Enterprises Ltd. and U. S.-based Wal-Mart Stores Inc. There are nearly 15 more similar wholesale facilities planned for different parts of India. The huge stores will measure almost 50,000-100,000 sq ft each, and provide jobs to nearly 5,000 people during the next seven-year period.
Though there has been no official announcement with regard to the new launch date of the Amritsar store, Bharti spokesman said: "Due to the suspension of commercial activity in Amritsar, the Bharti Wal-Mart store opening has been delayed. We will open the store as soon as the commercial activity resumes."
According to retail analyst Raghav Sehgal, of Angel Broking Ltd, the Wal-Mart decision to put off the opening of the store is "a cautious approach," considering the sudden outbreak of violence in Punjab. Sehgal opines that the decision would not have any impact on plans of other foreign companies - like Carrefour S. A.; Marks & Spencer Group PLC; Tesco PLC; and others - that are planning to venture into the Indian retail sector!