Bharti, Wal-Mart defer launch of first wholesale store

May 25th, 2009 - 3:52 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, May 25 (IANS) India’s Bharti group and Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer, have postponed the launch of their first cash-and-carry or wholesale store in Amritsar following the violence in Punjab over the death of a Sikh leader in Vienna.
The launch was scheduled for Tuesday, but was deferred after a Sikh religious leader died in the Austrian capital Monday following an armed attack at a gurdwara the previous day. The incident led to widespread violence in Punjab.

“We will come back with the rescheduled date shortly,” said a joint statement of the two companies.

The Bharti group, which has interests in telecom, retail, agro-trade and realty, had formed a 50:50 joint venture in 2007 with the US giant to launch a chain of wholesale stores in India.

The stores will operate under the Best Price Modern Wholesale brand.

Officials said more than a dozen such large stores, spread over 50,000 to 100,000 sq ft, were planned in the country over the next five years. They said only retailers who have a sales tax number would be served at these stores.

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